Neck pain is one of the most common pain conditions, second to back pain and tied with headaches. About 15% of U.S. adults report neck discomfort, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). However, the condition affects up to 70% of people at some point in their lives, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal MedicineFemales comprise the majority of pain sufferers, accounting for nearly 60% of people with the condition, according to NCHS. Adults aged 45 to 64 are most at risk; although people aged 18 to 44 experience the second highest rates of neck pain. In this post, we’ll be looking at 25 tips for living with neck pain, but we always advise talking to a neck pain doctor for your best bet at finding pain relief.

1. Find the source of your neck pain

Stress, injury, and poor posture are all linked to pain in the neck, however, where you experience pain may point to its cause.

Achy necks most commonly stem from damage in the cervical spine—the gently curving portion of backbone that supports the neck. Potential sources of discomfort include minor fractures, dislocations, or bulging disc syndrome, a condition where the protective discs separating the vertebrae bulge out and cause pain. Other possible causes include injuries, like whiplash from a car accident, or poor positioning while sleeping or working. You may feel this pain in the neck, but also as neck and shoulder pain or neck and back pain.

The location of your pain can also point to lifestyle habits you have that could be contributing to pain in your neck. Unnatural neck positions frequently have a detrimental effect on its health. This is especially true considering the many hours modern workers spend leaning over desks and towards computer screens. This position results in forward flexion and can wreak havoc on a person’s neck and shoulders. Some hobbies may also impact recovery. Avid bike riders, for instance, may experience pain because of neck flexion while riding.

2. Are you suffering from neck and shoulder pain? 

Neck and shoulder pain is a common form of neck pain that many people suffer from. It’s so common, in fact, that the Cleveland Clinic has a name for it. E. Kano Mayer, MD, an interventional spine specialist, explains:

“The way the body reports pain is somewhat unreliable. Neck and shoulder pain so commonly overlap that some refer to it as ‘shneck’ pain.”

Pain in neck and shoulder areas can be caused by any number of factors. For example, damage to the rotator cuff, whether through injury or wear-and-tear issues, can lead a person to begin to compensate or use their shoulders differently. This could lead to soreness or pain in other areas, like the neck. also reports that most cases of shoulder and neck pain can be traced by to injuries, such as whiplash. Or your neck and shoulder pain may be caused by more serious conditions like cervical myelopathy where the spinal cord becomes compressed or cervical radiculopathy, when bone spurs press on nerves at the ends of bones.

With all of these different causes, it’s important to always talk to a neck pain doctor. They can help you find what condition or lifestyle h