Could a Pinched Nerve Be Causing Your Neck Pain?

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Sometimes neck pain can become really bad, sending sharp stabs of pain down your back and arms. In cases like this, it makes sense to wonder if you’re experiencing a pinched nerve. But how can you be sure?

A pinched nerve in your neck can lead to head and neck pain. It’s also strongly associated with pain and numbness in your arms and hands. As with any other case of severe or persistent pain, you should get the advice of a doctor about the cause and treatment of your pain.

What Is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve occurs when the tissue surrounding it puts too much pressure on it, often due to swelling. Aside from pain, a pinched nerve can lead to tingling, muscle weakness, and numbness.

Pinched nerves can arise from a variety of causes including injuries, repetitive motion stress and arthritis.

Pain arising from a pinched nerve in the neck is called cervical radiculopathy. It means that a nerve along the seven upper vertebrae in your neck is damaged. You may also experience headaches because of cervical radiculopathy.

Sleep Is a Common Cause of Neck Pain

The position in which you sleep can play a big role in the development of neck pain from a pinched nerve. If you have a sleep disorder that prevents you from sleeping on your back, then you may be at a greater risk of developing neck pain.

Sleeping on your back supports your neck and upper back. If you sleep on your side or your stomach, your spine may rest out of alignment for long periods of time, putting strain on it and the exiting nerves. A combination of sleep disorder treatment and physical therapy is an effective treatment in this case.