The causes of neck conditions vary depending on the specific problem.
Neck pain is often the result of muscle strain or damage to the bones of the upper
spine. Trauma, such as from a broken neck, neck sprain, or whiplash, is the most common
cause of neck injury. Car and other motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports-related
impact are examples of trauma. They may cause soft tissue injuries to the neck
muscles, or fractures of the spine. Other neck conditions, including arthritis, pinched nerves, and spondylosis, are the result of degenerative diseases in the spine or aging. Rarely, cancers such as throat cancer and thyroid cancer can also cause neck pain.
The signs and symptoms of common neck conditions vary depending on the specific
problem and what part of the neck is affected. Neck pain is a common symptom of any
neck condition, however. Neck conditions also commonly cause pain that spreads
from the neck to the head, shoulders, jaw, or even the upper arms.
Some of the most common neck problems include:
- Neck fracture (cervical vertebrae)
- Neck sprain
- Pinched nerve
- Spondylosis, or arthritis in the neck
- Muscle tightness
- Muscle spasms
- Decreased ability to move your head
- Numbness, tingling, weakness
- Loss of feeling (sensation) in your arms or hands
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