Your neck has a tough job. It has to hold up the weight of your head every day for a lifetime. Holding up to 11 pounds may not seem like a lot, but the seven bones and 25 or so neck muscles must work together in perfect harmony to move your head around and keep that weight in place. As you get older, postural changes, sudden injuries, and arthritis are a few reasons why you may begin to notice neck pain. Often, the pain can be traced to a problem with either the muscles, bones, discs, or nerves in your neck.
If you've ever had a stiff neck and couldn't turn your head for a day or two, you know how debilitating and life-changing neck pain can be. The sharp muscle spasms that restrict your ability to move can happen when your body tries to protect a spinal joint that isn't moving correctly. Almost every bone in your neck has a pair of sliding joints towards the back called facet joints. If an adhesion forms or the joint is stuck, your body will try to compensate for a little while, and you may not notice any pain or restriction. But, this compensation can cause additional challenges if it's not handled.
A stiff neck is your body's way of saying "pay attention"! Even if it eases up by the end of the day, it's smart to have us evaluate your spine's motion. Taking care of small challenges before they become big issues is part of being proactive with your health. By taking a proactive approach to your health today, you can reduce your risk of future neck pain and stiffness episodes.