Pain located in the neck is a common medical condition. Neck pain can come from a number of disorders and diseases and can involve any of the tissues in the neck.
- Examples of common conditions causing neck pain are degenerative disc disease, neck strain, osteoarthritis, cervical spondylosis, spinal stenosis, poor posture, neck injury such as in whiplash, a herniated disc, or a pinched nerve (cervical radiculopathy).
- Common infections, such as virus infection of the throat, leading to lymph node (gland) swelling and neck pain.
- Rare infections, such as tuberculosis of the neck, infection of the spine bones in the neck (osteomyelitis and septic discitis), and meningitis (often accompanied by neck stiffness).
- Conditions directly affecting the muscles of the neck, such as fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatica as well as from uncomfortable positioning of the neck while sleeping with the head on a pillow.
Neck pain can feel like any of the following
- Stiff neck that makes turning the head difficult
- Sharp or stabbing pain in one spot
- Soreness or tenderness in a general area
- Pain that radiates down into the shoulders, arms, or fingers; or radiates up into the head
In some cases, other symptoms associated, such as
- Tingling, numbness, or weakness that radiates into the shoulder, arms, or fingers
- Trouble with gripping or lifting objects
- Problems with walking, balance, or coordination
- Loss of bladder or bowel control