5 Common Causes of a Crick in the Neck

Did you know that around 33 percent of people experience neck pain at least one time every year? Your gender and age can make you more likely to suffer, especially if you’re a woman or elderly.

But when you’ve got an annoying crick in the neck, you don’t only deal with pain. Your neck may feel very stiff or even make popping noises when you try to turn your head.

So, what causes this aggravating issue? Read on to learn five common reasons why you might have a crick in the neck.

1. Postural Issues

Most often, a crick in the neck happens due to how you’ve slept, sat, or otherwise positioned your neck. For example, you may have sat slumped over at your desk all day at work, or maybe you slept with your neck bent an odd way.

In such cases, you can fix the problem from happening again by paying close attention to your posture. This can mean sitting up straight or trying a new sleeping position.

2. Neck Strain

Neck strain from overuse and exercise can also make the muscles in your neck hurt and feel stiff.

If your job requires you to move your neck often, or you play a sport like tennis, you can easily strain your neck and get a crick. The same can happen if your neck has to stay in a certain position for a long time, such as when you use the computer.

Massaging your neck and taking a break from activities that cause these repetitive motions can help.

3. Occipital Neuralgia

A crick in the neck can also happen due to a nerve condition called occipital neuralgia. This involves damaged or inflamed nerves on your spinal cord near your neck. 

Not only does this condition cause you to have severe neck pain, but it can give you a headache you might mistake for a migraine. The solution to the problem involves taking the pressure off those damaged nerves using techniques like massages and nerve blocks.

4. Arthritis 

If you have a crick in the neck even with good posture, then you might have arthritis of the neck. This most often impacts those over 60 due to wear to the body over time. 

Physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and surgery can all help with this source of neck pain and stiffness.

5. Whiplash

Have you recently had a car accident or gotten hurt playing sports? If so, you might suffer from whiplash due to the force your neck endured.

Along with a crick in the neck, you’ll often get headaches, feel tired and dizzy, and have tenderness in the upper body. Your doctor may give you a neck brace to reduce your discomfort and support your neck.

Get Help for a Crick in the Neck

You don’t have to keep suffering from a crick in the neck since you have many home remedies to try. For example, you can take some over-the-counter pain medicines, use a heating pad, or gently stretch your neck.

If the problem happens a lot, consider letting your doctor know too. You might have a more serious condition like nerve damage or arthritis that needs treatment.

Be sure to check out our other posts to learn about common health issues.