Neck pain is very common and affects 30-40% of people every year. It most commonly affect people between the ages of 30 and 60 and tends to affect people that have a more sedentary job rather than those that are able to move around more in their jobs.
The location of pain can be quite varied from the centre of the neck to the base of your head, across your shoulder and into your shoulder blades. Neck pain can also give you headaches which tends to be felt behind the eyes and often affects one side of your head more than the other. Pain can also be felt into your arms as far down as your hands. This normally indicates that the nerves in your neck are being trapped.
The neck is made up of 7 bones in your neck called vertebra. In between these vertebra are discs which act as shock absorbers and increase the amount of movement that is available in the neck (see ‘slipped disc’ for more detail). Behind these discs are a pair of nerves, one for your left side and one for your right. These travel down into yours shoulders and arms and each have a different job and can give pain in different places.
A modern problem?
Over the years, we have changed the way that we use our necks significantly. We evolved to use our necks regularly, keep them moving and we would rarely sit for long periods of time. Essentially we were designed to hunt, eat and sleep.