Why does your neck hurt?

Waking up with a stiff neck or experiencing pain or a spasm during the day? You don’t pay much attention to the neck until it starts hurting. Did you know that neck pain is one of the more prevalent symptoms that people suffer from in the U.S? Your neck is an important part of your body and plays a crucial role. It supports the weight of your head all day long, which weighs about 11 pounds! That’s why your neck needs to be flexible, supportive and protected from injuries and conditions that cause pain. Our spine surgeon in Palm Beach County, Dr. Hepler , will present the causes of neck pain. 

What causes neck pain?

Many things can affect your neck such as poor posture, bad sleep habits, carrying a heavy shoulder bag or even infections . Here are the most common causes of your neck pain: 

  • Muscle strains. That can be caused by poor posture (e.g. slouching over your smartphone or computer), poor neck support during your sleep or while watching TV. Also, muscle strain may be caused by sports or work activities, anxiety, and stress, including gritting your teeth
  • Worn joints and the aging process. As you age, the joints in your body tend to wear down including your neck joints. Your intervertebral discs lose moisture and some of their cushioning effect. Your body then creates bony growths (bone spurs) that affect joint motion and cause pain Osteoarthritis causes the cushions (cartilage) between your bones (vertebrae) to deteriorate. 
  • Pinched nerve. A pinched nerve occurs when there is pressure on a nerve. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck may press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord. The pressure on a nerve may happen from repetitive motions or holding your body in one position for a long time.
  • Injuries. Injuries from car accidents, in particular whiplash. Whiplash is a form of neck sprain caused by sudden movements of your neck; when your neck is suddenly jerked backward and then forward. This stretches the neck muscles and ligaments more than normal, causing a sprain.
  • Diseases. Certain diseases may cause neck pain, including rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or a tumor.

Need advice or consultation with a spine surgeon in Palm Beach County

Don’t let chronic back or neck pain take over your life. If you are suffering from constant discomfort in your neck or back, our orthopedic spine specialist is ready to help. Dr. Matthew Hepler is an adult and pediatric spine surgeon in Palm Beach County, including Fort Lauderdale, and Delray Beach. 

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He treats all conditions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, and also provides spinal stenosis treatments. Additionally, he offers non-operative treatment options, such as pain medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy. But, he also offers operative treatments, including both minimally invasive techniques and complex reconstructions. If you would like to learn more about our orthopedic spine surgeon, please Contact Us. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.