What Are the Most Common Causes of Burning Neck Pain?

An X-ray of the neck, including the cervical vertebrae.
Sleeping in awkward positions may cause a person to have neck pain.
Severe whiplash after an accident can cause burning neck pain.
Poor posture, stress and repetitive motions are among the most common causes of burning neck pain.
Article Details
  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Neck discomfort described as a burning pain is generally caused by poor posture, stress, repetitive motions, improper lifting, or sleeping on the stomach. These habits put stress on muscles that support the neck and maintain proper spine alignment. The pain can be described as sudden or re-occurring, but usually resolves favorably to treatment. Surgery is rarely needed for burning neck pain.

Acute neck pain appears suddenly and often comes from a soft tissue injury, such as a muscle strain. It usually goes away within a few weeks with rest and treatment. This type of pain can be caused by a damaged tendon or disc when lifting a heavy object. Acute neck pain may be treated with medication to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation.

Chronic neck pain lasts more three months or resurfaces again and again. If poor posture is the cause of burning neck pain, it can be remedied by changing body alignment. The condition is often seen in people who work on the telephone, holding the handset against the shoulder. Slouching at the computer for hours on end also contributes to this problem, along with improper neck alignment while sleeping. Therapeutic exercises, relaxation techniques, and a cervical collar, along with medication for pain, are common treatments for chronic neck pain.

Ad

Whiplash is another common cause of burning neck pain. It causes injury to the soft tissue of the neck from the rapid forward and backward motion of the head, such as during a car crash. Often, the pain is not felt immediately after an automobile accident or other forceful injury. It could be 24 hours or more before pain develops. Severe whiplash may include damage to the spine, discs, and ligaments, but this is rare.

Patients describe neck pain differently. A physician routinely checks for any underlying disease or injury when a patient complains of neck pain. Neck pain can develop from injury, spinal problems, or conditions that develop in the disc or muscle of the spine. If a vertebra is fractured or a disc in the vertebrae bulges, burning pain can occur. Several degenerative diseases also cause neck pain, including stenois, spondyloysis, and osteoarthritis.

Burning neck pain accompanied by loss of bladder control, tingling in the extremities, or numbness could signal a more serious problem like a pinched nerve or meningitis. If a fever, headache, or nausea is present, prompt medical attention is needed.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

literally45
Post 3
@MikeMason-- A neck injury seems like a logical explanation. I used to have the same issues due to a neck hernia. I was in a car accident, a car hit me from the back. Physical therapy is very helpful. I also wear a soft cervical collar while working.
stoneMason
Post 2

@turkay1-- That's interesting, thanks for sharing. My dad has the same kind of pain, a burning lower neck pain that comes and goes randomly. It doesn't seem to be triggered by any activity.

We were thinking that it's because of a neck injury he suffered from over ten years ago. But he also has high blood pressure and it never occurred to me that the two could be related.

I will mention this to him, maybe he can keep a closer eye on his blood pressure to see if there are any changes when he has neck pain.

Do you think high blood pressure results in neck pain? Or do you think that stress results in both?

candyquilt
Post 1

My mom experiences this once in a while, it seems to be triggered by high blood pressure. Whenever she complains of burning neck and shoulder pain and checks her blood pressure, it's high. She takes her blood pressure medication and then I will do a light massage on her neck and the pain eventually goes away.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email