New Onset of Neck Pain
Most episodes of acute neck pain are due to a muscle strain or other soft tissue sprain (ligaments, tendons). This type of injury can be caused by a sudden force (such as whiplash resulting from a car accident), or from straining the neck (such as a stiff neck from ‘sleeping wrong’, or a strain from carrying a heavy objects such as a backpack or luggage).
Most minor injuries to the ligaments, tendons and muscles in the neck usually heal with time (a couple of days or weeks) because these soft tissues have a good blood supply to bring the necessary nutrients and proteins for healing to take place. Nonsurgical care, such as ice (heat only after 72 hours), NSAID medications such as Ibuprofen, physical therapy, and chiropractic manipulations can help alleviate the painful condition while it is healing.
For patients with neck pain that lasts longer than a couple of weeks, or those suffering with arm pain, numbness or tingling, there is often a specific anatomic abnormality causing the symptoms.