What Are the Most Common Causes of Left Neck Pain?

Neck pain may be relieved by a massage.
Car accident injuries are the most common cause of whiplash, which leads to head, neck and back pain.
Sleeping in awkward positions may cause a person to have neck pain.
Pinched nerves are a common cause of neck pain.
Neck pain is commonly caused by strained muscles.
Article Details
  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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At best, neck pain can be a mere discomfort; at worst, neck pain can indicate a serious health problem. Such pains may spread across the whole neck or localize in a particular area. If a person experiences left neck pain, the discomfort typically results from problems with one of four bodily components: muscles, nerves, bones, or the cardiovascular system.

One of the most common types of neck pain manifests due to strained muscles. The neck contains many muscles and ligaments that attach the head to the shoulders, back, and chest. Thus, shoulder and neck pain, or neck and back pain combined, often signal an injury to these tissues. Such injuries are often the result of whiplash, overuse, or holding the neck in an abnormal position for a long period of time. Typical indicators of muscle injury include swelling, bruising, and weakness.

Pinched nerves are another common cause of neck pain. When the portion of the spine located in the neck experiences inflammatory arthritis, it may put pressure on the surrounding nerves, resulting in localized neck pain. Numbness and weakened movement often result from nerve injuries.

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Neck pain and bone degeneration can also go hand-in-hand, and the result may be right neck pain, frontal neck pain, or left neck pain. One degenerative disease that affects the discs in the neck is cervical spondylosis, a disorder that leads to the development of painful bone spurs. A different syndrome, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, occurs when the tendons and ligaments around the spine harden and stiffen. A herniated disc resulting from injury may also lead to pain. Loss of movement, swelling, and severe neck pain manifest in these bone conditions.

Cardiovascular disease is perhaps the most serious potential cause of left neck pain. Many people know the most prevalent symptoms of a heart attack are chest pain and pain in the left arm, but many may not be aware that these pains can also travel up the left side of the neck. This type of referred pain may be sudden and intense, and generated in waves. Arteries and veins in the neck may suffer from a vascular blockage as well, particularly the carotid artery. Any coolness or color change around the neck area could signal this type of problem.

Treating neck pain—left neck pain or otherwise—is dependent on the original cause. Mild injuries, for example, can be treated through rest, massage, or over-the-counter pain relievers. Preventative measures like proper exercise or caution when performing strenuous activities can also curtail injuries. Some more severe symptoms, however, may signal emergency medical care is in order, including the following: sharp, stabbing pain, accompanying chest pain, numbness, tingling, intense headache onset, nausea, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Prescription medications, cervical braces, or surgery may be needed for more severe conditions.

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anon934072
Post 4

Who's to blame? My iPad or my modern-day lifestyle?

Since I have been watching movies non stop on my iPad over the past three weeks, because it's convenient, I have developed a "knitting needle" like stabbing like twinging pain up inside the left hand side of my skull. No matter what I do, I get no relief sitting or standing or sleep in comfort since.

I guess it's a case of bad posture, hanging one's head over instead of looking straight, as you would normally at a TV. Staring close, I have discovered, makes me feel tense over an hour or more.

I don't blame the iPad because it's fab. I blame my modern-day lifestyle, to be honest.

I will only use it for email and quick internet purchases from now on. Other than that, I would not recommend unless you have an elevated stand from where you can watch your films. Use it responsibly. Peace!

lluviaporos
Post 3

There is nothing worse than waking up with a crick in your neck that just seems to get worse throughout the day. And sometimes it feels like, if you just twist your head the right way, it will click into place and the crick will stop hurting.

But usually nothing helps, at least for me. It's just one of those things that you have to live with.

Of course, it's nothing compared to people who have chronic neck muscle pain. It's a part of the body that we don't really pay much attention to until it gets injured or stops working well, and then we realize that it's so important to everyday well being.

It's not like getting pain in your legs or something, where you can rest them and hopefully get some relief. With neck pain it basically just hurts all the time and there is no way to completely rest it.

KoiwiGal
Post 2
@pleonasm - You might want to think about taking a class in the Alexander technique. It's supposed to be really good at training the muscles to sit in the right place, even when you aren't concentrating on them.

One of my friends did it and managed to stop hunching his shoulders all the time, which helped to relieve his neck pain and will probably make a difference in his long term health as well.

pleonasm
Post 1

I tend to get severe neck and shoulder pain whenever I am stressed or in a tense situation. And I know the cause, but there isn't much I can do about it.

I just tense up to the point that my muscles get really sore. About the only thing that really seems to help is if I remove the stress, take a bit of pain medication and manage to get a good night's sleep.

I've tried to get my muscles to relax when I can tell that they are starting to get sore, but as soon as I concentrate on something else they tense up again, so I think it's just something I need to live with.

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