What is the Connection Between the Spine and Neck Pain?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2018
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The neck and the spine are very closely related, since the neck is technically part of the spine. Spine and neck pain are therefore essentially the same thing, depending on where that pain occurs. Vertebrae in the neck can become herniated, just like any other vertebrae in the spine, and pain that originates in the neck can radiate into the rest of the spine. Spine and neck pain go hand in hand, and while an issue with a vertebra in the lower back is essentially the same as an issue with a vertebra in the neck, they are sometimes seen as different pains that are treated similarly.

Herniated discs are common spinal injuries that cause spine and neck pain. They are common in the neck because of the likelihood of trauma in that area of the body, though herniated discs can occur anywhere in the spine. This injury occurs when the gel-like fluid between vertebrae ruptures and presses against the nerves surrounding vertebrae. This can lead to intense and constant spine and neck pain. Such an injury is usually treated with plenty of rest followed by physical therapy and a combination of stretching and exercising, though in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to stem neurological dysfunctions caused by the herniated disc.


The spine needs to be supported by muscles surrounding it, and if those muscles weaken or become injured, the spine can begin to fall out of place. This often leads to spine and neck pain because the muscles over-strain or even tear as they attempt to support the spine. The neck is responsible for supporting the head as well, meaning the muscles in the neck can tire if the position of the head is unnatural for long periods of time. Posture correction exercises and stretches may be necessary to help alleviate spine and neck pain in this case; a core workout will strengthen the stomach muscles, lower back muscles, groin, and legs, since these muscles are primarily responsible for supporting the spine. If these muscles weaken, the spine is likely to misalign, causing pain throughout the spine, including the neck.

Poor posture at work and while walking can also lead to spine and neck pain. Sitting at a desk for long periods of time, especially if one is looking at a computer monitor, can put strain on the muscles surrounding the spine. An ergonomic chair will add support to the lumbar spine, thereby straightening the rest of the spine and alleviating pain in the spine and neck.



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