Why Chronic Neck Pain Should Never Be Ignored

Why Chronic Neck Pain Should Never Be Ignored

While you may experience occasional neck discomfort due to poor sleeping posture, stress, or overexertion, chronic pain is much worse and persists for weeks or even months. Chronic neck pain, also known as cervicalgia, is used to qualify for neck pain lasting more than three months. 

Causes of chronic neck pain usually include structural issues, injury to the neck, and other medical conditions. This condition can affect your ability to carry out your daily activities easily and reduce your overall quality of life. Unlike acute pain in the neck, chronic neck pain does not go away easily. Therefore, you should never ignore this condition. 

This article will discuss the causes of chronic neck pain and the importance of seeking appropriate treatment at Barkman and Smith Physical Therapy.

Causes of Chronic Neck Pain

Muscular issues, nerve-related conditions, structural problems, and numerous other conditions may lead to chronic neck pain. The following are some of the most common causes of recurring and persistent pain in the neck:

  • Postural and alignment issues: Poor posture is one of the most common contributors to chronic neck pain. You may develop bad posture due to a sedentary lifestyle, muscular imbalances, occupational demands, and other factors. Regardless of the cause of your alignment issues, poor posture can excessively strain your cervical spine and the muscles surrounding it. 
  • Traumatic injuries: Traumatic events, such as motor accidents, falls, and sports-related accidents, can cause severe neck injuries, leading to chronic neck pain. Whiplash is an example of a neck injury caused by a forceful and sudden back-and-forth movement. Other examples of neck injuries that may occur due to traumatic events include cervical strains and sprains, neck fractures, cervical dislocation, and other soft tissue injuries. 
  • Degenerative conditions: As we age, several body parts change, making them susceptible to degeneration. The cervical spine (neck area of the spine) is not left out of these ageing changes as it may undergo the formation of bone spurs, loss of intervertebral disc height, and other changes. One of the most common degenerative conditions that may affect the neck is arthritis. Joint inflammation is the primary cause of arthritis. This condition is mostly common in adults aged 40 years and older. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the neck. 
  • Muscle strain: Muscle tension and strain are some of the most common causes of chronic neck pain. A muscle strain occurs when a tendon or muscle is stretched too far. Your neck muscles and tendons may be strained due to overuse from improper lifting techniques, awkward positions while using electronic devices, etc, leading to chronic neck pain. 
  • Bulging Disc: The spine is a structure of small bones known as vertebrae, running from the base of the skull, through the neck, to the pelvis. Intervertebral discs, rubbery cushions, separate the bones that make up the vertebrae. These discs act as shock absorbers, protecting the bones of vertebrae. However, these discs may become bulge in the neck if their nucleus tears through the outer layer. Herniated cervical discs can cause severe chronic neck pain because they may compress nearby spinal nerves. 

Factors that put you at risk of developing chronic neck pain include previous musculoskeletal injuries, poor posture and ergonomics, lack of physical activity, etc. 

Consequences of Ignoring Chronic Neck Pain

The following are the complications that you may experience when you ignore neck pain:

  • Decreased sleep quality: Chronic neck pain makes it difficult to fall asleep because of the severe discomfort it causes. If you eventually manage to fall asleep, your sleep may be disrupted by frequent pain bouts, reducing your sleep quality and duration. Sleep deprivation, in turn, causes mood swings and stress and reduces your overall quality of life.
  • Risk of drug addiction: Most people turn to painkillers to help them cope with chronic pain. While these pain-relieving medications reduce pain levels temporarily, you might get addicted to them if you constantly depend on them for comfort. 
  • Difficulty performing routine tasks: Your neck controls the movement of your head. Therefore, performing any task without moving your neck is nearly impossible. You may feel severe discomfort if you have to move your neck while suffering from chronic neck pain. As a result, chronic neck pain makes it difficult to engage in your normal activities. 
  • Long-term health implications: Refusing to get treatment for chronic neck pain may lead to further physical and mental health complications. Chronic neck pain, if left untreated for a long time, may lead to nerve compression and further structural damage to the spine. 
  • Mental health problems: Chronic neck pain may lead to the deterioration of one’s mental health. Having to deal with discomfort every day for a long period can cause depression, frustration, and anxiety, which can take their toll on such individual’s mental health. People suffering from chronic neck pain may experience frequent mood swings. 

These and many more complications are the consequences of ignoring chronic neck pain. Therefore, you should seek out neck pain therapy in Bedford, TX if you are suffering from chronic pain.

How to Avoid Complications from Chronic Neck Pain

The first thing you should do when you discover you are suffering from chronic neck pain is to seek Bedford physical therapy or your primary healthcare provider. You may need to undergo some tests and examinations, to diagnose your chronic neck pain.

Physical examination is one of the most common diagnostic methods for chronic neck pain in Bed Forth, TX. Your healthcare provider may conduct a comprehensive physical examination to assess your condition and determine its severity and underlying cause. A physical exam may consist of range-of-motion and muscle strength tests. After a physical examination, you may also undergo imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI to detect structural problems in the cervical spine. 

When your healthcare provider confirms that you are suffering from chronic neck pain, they may refer you to other specialists for treatment. 

Treatment Methods for Chronic Neck Pain

Physical therapy is one of the most effective treatment methods for chronic neck pain in Fort Worth. Physical therapy is a healthcare profession that promotes, maintains, and restores physical health through various interventions. Physical therapists aim to relieve pain, strengthen the muscles, and improve the range of motion in people who have suffered one physical condition or another. To treat chronic neck pain, physical therapists may employ the following techniques:

  • Neck strengthening exercises
  • Manual therapy techniques
  • Postural correction strategies
  • Education and self-management strategies, etc.

Physical therapy is an effective treatment method that can prevent the complications that may arise due to chronic neck pain. 


Chronic neck pain is a severe condition caused by several factors. It is life-altering because it can prevent people from participating in the activities they love the most and reduce their overall quality of life. While you may be tempted to wait the pain out, it is dangerous to ignore chronic neck pain with the hope that it will go away on its own. If you are experiencing chronic neck pain, seek professional help at Barkman and Smith Physical Therapy and other services like Orthopedic Therapy in Bedford.

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Elen Havens