Did you know that your neck is made up of vertebrae, which are a collection of small bones extending from your skull to upper torso? In between these bones there are cervical discs which absorb shock– think of them like cushions. If and when you get inflammation in your neck area due to injury or some abnormality, you’re likely to get a stiff neck and/or experience pain in the neck.

Generally, neck pain is due to poor posture or the overuse of the neck. It can also come from falling down, getting whiplash, and/or playing contact sports.

A lot of people develop stiff neck from sitting in one rigid position at a computer all day. They can also get it from driving long distances or looking at their smartphones for long periods of time. Basically, muscles around the neck joints get tired out. They get overstretched. Neck joints become displaced– then when you go to turn your head the joints aren’t moving smoothly. Because they’re out of place, chances are they’re hitting a nerve and/or pulling a muscle, thus causing you pain. Your body’s response to that is to spasm– this clenching makes you feel as if you can’t/shouldn’t even move.

If you have one or more of these conditions, you might also have neck pain: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, or fibromyalgia. Though rare, neck pain may also be caused by tumors, cancer of the spine, infections, and/or congenital abnormalities.

While neck pain typically isn’t too serious and goes away quickly, should it persist more than a week then you’ve got a problem that needs professional attention. It’s a good idea to make an appointment to see Dr. Justin Bergin at New City Chiropractic if this is the case.

Chiropractic care can help reduce swollen glands, numbness, tingling, radiating pain, and other symptoms associated with neck pain. Some of the ways your neck will feel better include ice and heat therapy, stretching/physical therapy, wearing a neck collar, and/or pain medication. For those who prefer not to resort to drugs to relieve their pain, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic treatment are viable alternative therapies.