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What is the Pinched Nerve Pain in the back of my Neck?

Posted by Dr. Chris Oswald on 2016-09-08

Have you ever turned your neck suddenly and felt a sharp pain shooting up your neck? It is more than likely you have suffered a pinched nerve in the back of your neck.

The pain you are feeling is intense and should only last for a short while. That being said, if not monitored, further pain can persist in other areas of your body.

pinched nerve pain neck

Pinched nerve causes

Due to the soft nature of the tissue protecting nerves, they are in fact quite vulnerable. In narrow areas where the nerve is close to a ligament, tendon, or a bone, nerve compression is more likely to occur as it comes into contact.

pinched nerve pain neckA pinched nerve in the neck will occur when there is the pressure on the nerve causes it to be compressed or it becomes irritated.

The pressure can be the result of consistent motions, or holding the body in an awkward position for a long period of time. Sometimes during sleep or sitting at the office for long periods of time.  Or lack of stretching.

What if the pain lasts longer?

The longer nerve compression sustains, the soft tissue barrier around the nerve has the chance to further break down. This will cause a buildup of fluid resulting in extra pressure and swelling. If scarring is to occur, the nerves function could become compromised.

Related symptoms

A pinched nerve is more than just a pain in the neck. In many cases, it can be the beginning of further pain in other areas of the body like neck, shoulders, elbow, hands, or lower back. It is an alarm, listen to it.  Sharp pain often occurs in the dysfunction or early stages.  Joint misalignment or muscle imbalance is often the cause and an easier fix than waiting for degeneration and osteoarthritis to kick in.

A pinched nerve in the neck has been known to cause some of the following conditions:

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome will experience pain, tingling, burning, and numbness throughout their hands and fingers. It is one of the more painful injuries caused by repetitive stress or fluid retention. This is common in occupations where typing or repetitive motion is required, pregnancy, and those suffering from hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as diabetes. But when pain travels down the entire arm, look at the neck as the cause.

Click here for some approved carpal tunnel syndrome stretches.

Tennis elbow

This condition is the result of elbow pain caused by overuse of arm, forearm, and muscles in the hand. Although common among tennis players (hence the name) anyone can suffer from tennis elbow, even from too many hours at the computer.  Also, neck and shoulder nerve issues often predispose one to tennis elbow.

Click here for some approved tennis elbow stretches.

Relieving the pain

muscle care pain reliefIf you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or feel your situation is getting more severe, it is heavily suggested that you contact a fully licensed doctor immediately.

In the event where the pinched nerve in the back of your neck is resulting in muscle or joint pain in other areas of your body, there are options for you. Proper stretching, along with applying Musclecare’s scientifically proven joint pain relief formula to the affected area, will work to relieve the pain at the source. Use MuscleCare’s Active Body Ball to break up adhesions and relieve stiffness.

* We highly recommend an assessment and an explanation from a licensed chiropractor to help patients better understand their own genetic blueprint or injury. Drugs can reduce the pain and when used in cooperation with chiropractic care. That being said, drug therapy alone will not provide the patient with an understanding of cause and the complex biomechanical issues that often occur.