Throbbing neck pain can completely derail your life. From the constant headaches and difficulty sleeping to more severe issues like arm numbness or trouble with your grip, the symptoms are impossible to ignore.
Understanding the different types of neck pain and the possible causes is one of the first steps towards finding some relief. There’s no need to suffer any longer! Start with this guide.
Right-Side Throbbing Neck Pain
Most people who suffer from neck pain feel it on the right side of their body. Usually, the cause is something benign, like a pulled muscle. In this case, it’s fairly easy to treat with over-the-counter medication or home remedies.
Following are a few of the issues that might be causing your neck pain.
Incorrect Sleeping Position
If you wake up with sore neck muscles, you might have less-than-ideal sleeping conditions. This could stem from having an old, worn-out mattress, using pillows that don’t have enough support, or using too many pillows.
These common problems cause your neck to be out of alignment all night, which leads to you waking up with pain in your neck, shoulders, and back.
Stress or Anxiety
When you’re stressed out or anxious, your muscles tighten up. This often causes you to feel shoulder and neck pain on the right side of your body.
If this is the cause, practicing deep breathing, yoga, or even just simple neck stretches should fix the problem.
Many types of neck pain are totally preventable! Take a look at this article for some tips to help you keep your neck healthy and pain-free.
Neck Pain with Headache
If you’re experiencing neck pain with a headache, there’s a chance it could be starting in your neck and traveling up to your head, or vice-versa. If the problem starts in your neck, it’s more likely a chronic condition.
Neck Pain Caused by Headaches
One possible issue is called a cervicogenic headache (CGH). It usually starts as a dull ache in your neck that radiates upward along the back of your head. Sometimes, it will also spread forward, to your temples, forehead, and/or the areas around your muscles or ears.
This condition is usually caused by an underlying disc, nerve, joint, or muscle disorder that is occurring in your neck.
Another possibility is an occipital neuralgia. This is a completely different sensation, usually causing sharp, painful sensations that feel like an electric shock. It affects the neck, ears, and the back of the head.
In this case, you’ll usually feel the pain on one side of your head. It starts in the upper part of your neck and spreads out into your head. This condition is caused by an injury to or irritation of your occipital nerve.
Headaches Caused by Neck Pain
Sometimes, you’ll have a headache that’s so severe that it runs down int your neck. The most common headaches that lead to neck pain include tension headaches and migraines. Sometimes, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can also cause headaches and neck pain.
Another headache, called a hemicrania continua, causes pain that starts in the head and spreads to the shoulder, neck, and the area around the ear. These can be fairly mild or severely intense. At this time, doctors aren’t sure what causes this type of headache.
Sudden Neck Pain
Neck pain that seems to come out of nowhere could be caused by a condition known as Torticollis. This often happens overnight, causing you to wake up in the morning feeling like your head is twisted to one side and you’re unable to turn it.
Although the cause of this condition isn’t completely known, doctors suspect that it’s caused by a muscle or ligament sprain in the neck. Sometimes, it also occurs after being exposed to cold temperatures for extended periods of time.
In many cases, you’ll have to suffer through it for a few days and it will go away on its own. Other times, it’s caused by a more severe issue, like an infection, tumor, or a side effect from a prescription medication.
Whiplash, such as what often occurs during a vehicle accident, also causes neck pain. This may take a few days to a week to show up or may occur right away. Left untreated, whiplash pain can last for years, so it’s best to see a doctor or chiropractor if you suspect you’ve sustained this type of injury.
Rare Causes of Neck Pain
While many causes of neck pain are fairly benign, there are times when it’s a sign of a more serious condition. Some causes that your doctor will want to rule out include:
- Bone disorders
- Nerve, spinal cord, or vertebrae damage
- Rheumatoid arthritis
If you’re feeling neck pain and you haven’t been able to trace it back to one of the less-serious causes, then you’ll definitely want to seek treatment. This will help ensure that you’re able to proactively take care of any serious issues before they continue to worsen.
Find Relief for Your Neck Pain Today
There’s no reason to suffer from throbbing neck pain! Now that you have some ideas about the possible causes, you can take steps to prevent it or get treatment.
Looking for even more tips to help you feel healthy and well? Browse through a few more of our blog posts!