Causes Of Lower Neck Pain

Lower neck pain also known as cervicalgia can be very frustrating since it can hinder you in performing your day to day task and this condition may even lead to chronic debilitation and inactivity. This can be cause by poor posture or due to some structural defect which needs to be corrected before quality of life returns. It is important that the cause is established in order to be able to address the pain problem. Lower neck pain can cause pain in the arm, shoulder and even the head.

Causes of Lower Neck Pain

Wrong Posture

The most common cause for lower neck pain is wrong or poor posture. One that can trigger such thing is when you sit in the desk for a long period of time with an unsuitable chair whose keyboard is too close or too far away. Leaning in one side while typing can also contribute to lower neck pain. Slouching over while watching TV or hunching over something or even simply playing board games with the kids can cause lower neck pain and vertebral compressions. Pain may be acute or chronic if action is often repeated. For individuals whose work involve with computers most of the time then better observe the right computer workstations (US Department of Labor – OSHA).

Acute Trauma or Injury

Injury like Whiplash can result to severe trauma in the neck which can lead to lower neck pain. This is aggravated if the structures are already weak due to advance in age. Whiplash is encountered most of the time in falls, car accidents, some exercise and injuries from sports. Most of the time pain is not felt until after twenty-four hours or more. Pain may be from a severe inflammation, damage in the muscles, joints in the lower neck and its connective tissues.

Muscle Strain

Excessive workout in the gym or carrying too heavy bags can cause lower neck pain. This is mostly cause by muscle strain wherein the muscles in the neck are overstretched or overused. This occurs when you have not done any warm up before doing s strenuous activity. Warming up can promote good circulation of blood in the muscles and thus deliver oxygen and nutrients to keep them function at its best.

Lower neck pain can also a result from shoulder impingement and may only be relieved by addressing the problem in the shoulder rather than focusing in the neck. Mostly this is due to some inflammation in the scapula which can result to a referred pain in the lower neck (The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery 2003).

Neck Osteoarthritis

Due to advance in age, the wear and tear of the joints is very common. When this occurs the soft tissues worn away thus resulting to a reduce cushion between the vertebrae or bones. Conditions like osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis can occur. This often leads to inflammation and pinched nerves.

Growth of bone spurs can create more pressure in the neck structures and joints which leads to severe neck pain. This can happen due to calcium metabolism not functioning right or because of cartilage degeneration.


If you experience lower neck pain and it gives you some difficulty to touch your chin to your chest then it is vital that you seek medical attention immediately for this may be a sign of meningitis. Seek medical assistance if a rash or fever is present for these are symptoms of infection.

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is located in the esophagus which is in the lower neck so that lower neck pain can be linked with problems in this gland. If the neck is swollen and the patient experience problems in weight management, memory and concentration; and fatigue then you might have problems with the functions of your thyroid gland. A simple blood test can tell you if you have dysfunction of the thyroid (Postgrad Med J 1998).