August 01, 2013

Neck pain

Good posture, exercises help

Neck pain

The human head typically weighs between 6 and 10 pounds, which is quite a lot of weight to keep balanced on the top of a body. The job of doing just that falls mainly to the muscles, spine bones and other tissues that make up the neck. Given this duty, it's no wonder that at any given time, it's estimated 10 percent of adults have neck pain.

Neck pain can be mild to severe and can have a wide variety of causes. Most cases involve a sharp or dull pain in the neck area, or neck stiffness. This may be an annoying discomfort — or it may interfere with your daily tasks — but it's usually not related to a serious problem and will often go away with time and self-care.

Pain in the neck

Muscle tension and strain is one of the most common causes of neck pain. This can be triggered by overuse and typically occurs at the back of the neck and upper back. A primary cause is too many hours hunched over with tasks such as driving, computer work, handcrafts or a project at a workbench. Tension, poor posture and stress can cause muscle fatigue and strain, as can seemingly minor things such as reading in bed or gritting your teeth. Muscles of the neck can also tighten up in response to an underlying problem such as arthritic joints of the spine.

Additional common causes of neck pain may include: