Neck pain refers to discomfort in or around the cervical spine, which is located under your head. Neck discomfort is a typical sign of a variety of injuries and conditions. If left untreated, neck pain can disrupt everyday activities and lower your quality of life.

Neck discomfort is a pretty common condition. At least once a year, it affects one out of every three people. Women are more vulnerable to neck pain, and your chances of getting neck pain rise as you become older. However, knowing why you experience neck discomfort might help you get rid of it.

Keep reading to discover 5 possible causes of your neck pain and what you can do about it.

1. Poor posture or sleeping position
The way you stand, sit, and sleep can all contribute to an increased risk of neck discomfort. When texting, browsing the internet, or even reading a book, hunching your neck forward is a bad idea. This might cause neck discomfort by overstretching your neck muscles.

When it comes to sleeping, there are a variety of options. Sleeping on your back is one of them. Sleeping on your side might irritate your neck by compressing your spine. It's also possible that you're using too many or few pillows, causing your neck to rest in an awkward posture. You might want to try using a memory foam cushion to support your neck without pushing it into an awkward posture.

2. Stress
Nowadays, our life is full of stressful events. While occasional stress is unlikely to cause serious health problems, chronic stress can. Long-term stress tightens your neck muscles, which makes them more vulnerable to strains, sprains, and other issues. If you regularly feel stressed and overwhelmed, your risk for stress-related injuries increases.

The best advice for this is to calm down and take a break whenever you feel the need. You may also try stress-relieving techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. Yoga in particular can help you calm down and strengthen your spine muscles to avoid injuries.

3. Injury
The neck is one of the most flexible parts of your body that supports your head daily. This makes the neck susceptible to injuries and various conditions. You can injure your neck during falls, accidents, weightlifting, and playing sports. Even sharp movement while doing your routine tasks can damage soft tissues in your neck.

Damage to a muscle or ligament usually causes neck injuries. Resting your neck and avoiding sharp movements can help heal it faster. If you heard a characteristic cracking sound during the neck injury, visit your doctor immediately as your vertebrae might be damaged.

4. Spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis is the condition that causes narrowing of the spinal canal and puts pressure on nerve roots. Spinal stenosis usually occurs in the neck or lower back, but might also affect other parts of your spine. When something presses your nerves, this might lead to severe pain and other neurological symptoms.

People with spinal stenosis can experience back, legs, or neck pain. The pain is usually worse with activity. Sometimes, keeping the neck in a certain position can relieve the discomfort. Spinal stenosis is often caused by osteoarthritis but conditions like spinal tumors, birth defects, and Paget’s disease might also cause it.

5. Herniated disk
A herniated disk is a common cause of neck pain. It occurs when the fragment of the disk nucleus in your neck is pushed out of the annulus into the spinal canal through a tear. Some patients with a herniated disk experience no symptoms. Others may experience dull or sharp pain and numbness in the neck that radiates into the arms, hands, and fingers. Discomfort caused by herniated disk may fade or worsen during certain movements or positions.

Most patients can treat herniated disks with conservative treatment options. If your herniated disk is severe or causes serious symptoms, your doctor might recommend spine surgery.

Author's Bio: 

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.