Cervical spine pain affects the joints of the neck. This can be due to many causes, and can involve referred pain to the head, shoulder or arms and hands. With neck pain it can be common for the muscles around the neck to tighten up, or go into spasm.
Some people report the feeling of a pinched nerve in the neck. The neck joints and cartilage discs between the vertebrae can become acutely inflamed and irritated, and may also irritate the nerve where it exits from the space between the vertebrae. The irritated nerve can sometimes refer pain, pins and needles or numbness down to the arm and into the hand and fingers.
A wry neck, also known as a crook neck, occurs when a small joint in the neck is over strained and the ligament which supports the neck becomes inflamed. Physiotherapy can be very effective by promoting mobility in the affected joint and reducing the muscle spasm around the joint.
Posture is a very important contributor to neck pain. When someone sits with poor, slumped posture, the ligaments and muscles which support the neck become fatigued and over loaded. The muscles will often become very tight and achy, and the neck can become very stiff. Over a longer period of time, this can cause chronic stiffness in the neck and lead to degeneration of the joints in the neck and upper back.