Neck pain is the sensation of discomfort in the neck or cervical area. Due to its location and range of motion, your neck is particularly vulnerable and at-risk for injury. There are a number of problems that cause pain in the neck and upper back. Problems can include disorders of any of the structures in the neck, including the cervical vertebrae and intervertebral discs, nerves or muscles, osteoporosis, or joint problems like arthritis. Other causes of neck pain include trauma or injury, overuse, muscle strain, sprain, or other injury.
Neck pain can range from acute (less than 4 weeks), to subacute (4-12 weeks), to chronic (3 or more months). Most neck pain can improve over time with home treatment and rest. You should seek medical attention if your neck pain is the result of an injury, such as car accident or fall, persists for days without relief, or is accompanied by weakness, numbness, or tingling in the arms. Early intervention with neck injury yields the best results.