Neck pain is a common problem, affecting many adults at some time in their lives. Neck pain can involve just the neck and shoulders, or it may radiate down an arm. The pain can be dull or feel like an electric shock into your arm. Certain other signs and symptoms, such as numbness or muscle weakness in an arm, can help pinpoint the cause of your neck pain.
Some causes of neck pain include:
Neck pain caused by muscle tension or strain usually goes away on its own within a few days and needs only conservative treatment at the most. Neck pain that continues longer than several weeks usually will still respond to exercise, stretching, physical therapy, massage and watchful waiting, but steroid injections or even surgery are occasionally indicated.
To help relieve discomfort, try these self-care tips:
Call your doctor if you have neck pain that:
Call 911 or your local emergency number or have someone drive you to the emergency room if you have severe neck pain that's associated with: