Causes of Back & Neck Pain

Causes of Back & Neck Pain
July 21 04:48 2017 Print This Article

Determining the cause of back and neck pain begins with a complete physical examination and informing your health history to your medical professional.

According to medical research, approximately 10% of adults cope with back and neck pain on any given day. Most young adults develop back and/or neck pain as a result of either physical labor, playing sports that require quick neck movements, or from sleeping in an awkward position. As people get older, degenerative changes in the discs and joints of the cervical spine will increase the likelihood of developing back and neck pain.

Five Main Causes of Back and Neck Pain

Strains/sprains account for the majority of neck & back pain

Most back and neck pain is caused by strains and/or sprains in muscles, ligaments, and tendons. People that lead sedentary lives will have decreased muscle function which will increase the chance of developing back and neck pain.

Poor posture can put a lot of stress on the spine causing neck pain. People that spend a lot of time sitting or working on the computer especially with insufficient back support will develop back and neck strain over time. In some cases, just bending over to pick something up will cause enormous back pain.

Middle aged people suffering from spinal stenosis

Disc degeneration occurs when the discs in the spine dry out and become thinner. When this condition occurs and the nerves become irritated, it is known as spinal stenosis.

Herniated disc problems

When discs in the vertebrae burst or herniated, this may cause severe leg pain if the herniation occurs in the lower portion of the spine. This is known as sciatica. A lot of young adults experience this problem as a result of over exertion.

Facet joint problems in middle aged people

Facet joint problems can happen as a result of poor posture. Prolonged extension tends to increase facet joint problems.

Osteoarthritis in middle aged and elderly people

This type of arthritis tends to be less crippling in pain than other forms of arthritis. Most middle aged people have some form of mild osteoarthritis which causes back pain from time to time. Like most arthritis sufferers, extreme ranges of motion such as jumping and quick movements will increase pain.

Major Causes of Neck Pain

Repeated stress and minor injury to the neck as a result of physical labor, playing sports, or sitting in front of a computer may not cause pain initially but can add up and gradually result in degeneration of the spine, causing pain.

A physician will determine the cause of injury and teach you how to slow down the degenerative process to prevent further neck injury. With chronic neck pain, there may not be a complete cure but a medical professional will help you slow down the degenerative process.

Understanding the general anatomy of the spine and neck will give you a better understanding of neck pain symptoms and treatment choices.

Cervical Spine Parts & How They Work?

The cervical spine is made up of the first seven vertebrae in the spine referred to as C1 through C7. The vertebrae refers to the 24 bones that are linked together to make up the spinal column and these bones protect the spinal cord. The center of each vertebrae contains a large hole and these holes line up to form a bony tube called the spinal canal which protects and supports the spinal cord.

The nerves that leave the spine in the upper area (cervical spine) travel from the arms to the hands.

Nerves that leave the spine in the lower area (lumbar spine) travel into the legs and feet.

Most of the nerves that leave the spine in the chest area (thoracic spine) travel into the chest and belly area.

Three Main Causes of Neck Pain:


Most people in a car accident end up with whiplash of the neck. The soft tissues of the neck are stretched beyond their limits. Untreated whiplash may result in chronic neck pain.


Arthritic neck pain can occur at any age but the majority of arthritic neck pain sufferers tend to be elderly people.

Disc Degeneration

As we get older, the space in the spinal column where the nerves exit can become narrow causing nerves to be irritated. When these nerves are pinched, the condition is called spinal stenosis.

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Jimmy Hannah
Jimmy Hannah

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