There are many reasons why your neck may be hurting. Sometimes it could be as simple as sleeping in an awkward position or sitting in front of a computer for long periods. In this high technology era we are seeing more and more professionals being susceptible to neck injuries due to spending extended periods of time in front of computer, and holding their neck/head in the same position for prolonged periods. Poor ergonomic work stations can contribute to these injuries as well. It is recommended to take frequent breaks and do light stretching exercises for those professionals spending extensive time in front of a computers.
The most common cause of neck pain is wear and tear in the discs, or pinched nerves in the cervical spine. Neck pain can radiate down to the shoulders or arms or hands, sometimes with numbness and tingling or weakness. Neck pain may also radiate up to the head and may cause headaches. As we age, the discs in our spine age as well and they loose their water content and they become degenerated and weaker and therefore they become more susceptible to injuries. We also develop arthritic changes and sometimes inflammation in the facet joints in the cervical spine which may cause pain as well. After whiplash injuries, or repetitive injuries you may have sprain/strain injuries to ligaments or muscles or joints in the spine that may cause pain. Your doctor may recommend imaging sometimes accompanied by diagnostic blocks in order to determine the cause of neck pain so it can be treated effectively. Depending on the cause of your neck pain, your doctor may recommend certain procedures to help the pain. Epidural steroid injections are very effective in the cervical spine for pain related to degenerated disc, herniated disc or pinched nerves.