What Are the Causes of Severe Neck Pain?


Most people experience neck pain at some time in their life because of poor posture, according to the Mayo Clinic. For some people, however, neck pain can be symptomatic of more serious health problems.

Strained Muscles

Neck pain can result from strained muscles, usually as a result of habits such as leaning over a steering wheel or computer, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Spine Problems

Neck pain often results from health problems that affect the spine. These medical conditions include cancer of the spine, degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, infections of the spine caused by osteomyelitis or diskitis, or a narrowing of the spine caused by spinal stenosis, according to the National Institutes of Health.


One of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes painful sensations throughout the body, is pain in the muscles and joints in the back of the neck.

Nerve and Joint Problems

According to the Mayo Clinic, people start to develop worn joints in their neck when they get older, which can lead to osteoporosis, a disease that weakens the bones and can cause stiffness and pain. Neck pain can also be a sign of a pinched nerve, which is caused by pressure from surrounding tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic.


People in car accidents often suffer whiplash, which is caused when their head is jerked forwards and/or backwards, resulting in an injury to the soft tissue in the neck, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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