Pain located in the neck is a common medical condition. Neck pain can result from a number of disorders in various tissues throughout the neck (muscles, nerves, vertebrae, discs). Examples of common causes of neck pain are degenerative disc disease, poor posture, neck injury such as in whiplash, a herniated disc or a pinched nerve. Neck pain can come from meningitis and also from conditions directly affecting the muscles of the neck, such as fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatica. Neck pain is also referred to as cervical pain.
- Stiffness and/or soreness
- If nerves are involved sometimes you'll feel shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm, numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands
Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward - similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion.
Whiplash injuries can be mild or severe. Treatment typically begins with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice applied to the painful neck muscles. If pain persists, prescription medications and physical therapy may be helpful.
Most people recover from whiplash in just a few weeks, but some people with whiplash injuries develop chronic conditions that can be extremely painful and disabling.
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches, most commonly at the base of the skull
- Blurred vision
(Most whiplash symptoms develop within 24 hours of the injury)