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Neck Pain

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The neck is a very vulnerable part of the spine.  It is susceptible to injury.  Muscle, ligament, nerve, and spine injuries are common causes of neck pain.  Poor posture and “wear and tear” can also cause neck pain.  Degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, can cause the spinal structures to break down and put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. 

Neck pain can spread to the head, shoulders, arms, and hands.  It can be acute or chronic.  Acute neck pain begins suddenly, usually after an injury.  Acute neck pain resolves as the injury heals, usually within several days or weeks.  Chronic neck pain lasts longer than three months.  Chronic pain may be constant and caused by structural changes in the spine from degenerative diseases.

A medical examination is necessary to identify the cause of the neck pain and to determine the appropriate course of treatment.  Neck pain is usually treated with non-surgical methods.  However, if symptoms progress or continue, there are a variety of spinal surgeries to relieve neck pain.

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The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit

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