What are the Most Common Causes of Sharp Neck Pain?

Anna T.

Sharp neck pain is often caused by a crick in the neck resulting from strained neck muscles or muscle spasms in the neck. People who suffer from whiplash, which often results from car accidents, typically have moderate to severe neck pain. In some cases, sharp neck pain might also be the result of neck arthritis. When arthritis is the cause, neck pain is typically a chronic problem rather than a temporary one. Any neck pain that does not go away on its own after three to four days should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out any serious problems.

Car accident injuries are the most common cause of whiplash, which leads to head, neck and back pain.
Car accident injuries are the most common cause of whiplash, which leads to head, neck and back pain.

Neck cricks often cause sharp neck pain, and they are also a very common problem. People tend to get cricks in their necks when they sleep in awkward positions or severely strain muscles in their neck areas, either from stretching or bending too far in one direction. A crick in the neck will typically resolve itself within a day or two, and it normally does not require any medical treatment. Many people are able to successfully alleviate pain from neck cricks by using massage or heat therapy until the pain goes away.

Often cause by awkward sleeping positions, neck cricks can cause sharp neck pain.
Often cause by awkward sleeping positions, neck cricks can cause sharp neck pain.

Whiplash is another common cause of sharp neck pain. Even though car accidents may be the most common cause of whiplash, there are other things that might cause it. Whiplash injuries often occur during sports that require lots of contact, such as football or soccer. Most people who have whiplash recover from it within a few weeks, but there are some instances where surgery is required to correct it. In addition to prescribing pain medicine, doctors often advise their patients to use heating pads and to wear cervical neck collars during whiplash recovery.

Contact sports like soccer can lead to different types of neck pain.
Contact sports like soccer can lead to different types of neck pain.

People who suffer from arthritis in their necks might experience sharp neck pain on a regular basis. As people age, neck bones often start to degenerate, and this usually causes problems with arthritis in that area. People who have neck arthritis might complain not only of sharp neck pain, but also of pain in the arms, headaches, and neck muscle spasms. Doctors often advise their patients with neck arthritis to use heating pads, take pain medicine, and perform neck stretching exercises to make their arthritis symptoms less severe. There is no known cure for any type of arthritis, but most people who have it are able to manage it effectively using these and other methods of treatment.

Doctors recommend using heating pads to soothe the neck pain caused by whiplash and neck arthritis.
Doctors recommend using heating pads to soothe the neck pain caused by whiplash and neck arthritis.
Cervical collars are often recommended during recovery from whiplash.
Cervical collars are often recommended during recovery from whiplash.
Muscle spasms and arthritis are among causes of sharp neck pain.
Muscle spasms and arthritis are among causes of sharp neck pain.
Holding the neck in an awkward position for a prolonged period may result in a neck ache.
Holding the neck in an awkward position for a prolonged period may result in a neck ache.

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