Most cases of
neck pain caused by activities, such as computer use
or sleeping position, improve within 4 to 6 weeks with treatment that includes
taking steps to relieve pain, modifying activities, and doing exercises or
Neck pain caused by
injuries, such as a fall resulting in a
herniated disc, usually improves within 3 months with
nonsurgical treatment. Neck pain caused by an injury such as
whiplash may take longer but usually improves within 6
to 12 months with occasional recurring pain.1
Neck pain may become long-lasting (chronic) when it occurs in combination
with other health conditions, such as conditions associated with increasing
age. These include narrowing of the spinal canal (cervical spinal stenosis) and arthritis of the neck (cervical spondylosis). In some cases, chronic neck pain can be caused by repeated
and prolonged movements, such as long hours working at a computer.
Chronic neck pain may result in increased irritability, fatigue, sleep
disturbances, and poor quality of life. If treatment fails, neck pain may lead
chronic pain syndrome, or drug dependence. For more
information, see the topic
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