Neck muscles and their surrounding ligaments are commonly prone to strains, pulls, and tears. Even daily activities, such as work, sports, or heavy lifting can cause undue strain on these muscles. Stress is especially carried in the necks muscles. Neck muscles communicate strain to the patient through bruising or swelling, pain at rest, and weakness or immobility of the muscles. For some, this can feel like a stiffness or a kink; for others it can come in the form of a sharp, severe pain.
Pain in the neck muscles can be caused by holding your body in a forward or unusual position for too long. This can include leaning forward in your office chair or in front of the TV. It also can be caused by having the head down too long, or in an awkward position, such as sleeping with an unsuitable pillow, or in a car. Tightness in the neck and surrounding muscles can also be caused by stress, which brings tension to the body. One final way neck muscles can be strained is torticollis, a sudden muscle contraction of the head, common early in infancy, or as a result of disease or injury.
To treat neck muscles that are strained or irritated, it is essential to see a doctor if the problems persist. The doctor will take the location, type, and severity of your muscles into account, and possibly perform a series of tests. This data, combined with your health, age, and workplace activities, hobbies and physical activity can help the doctor diagnose a problem and develop a course of treatment. Treatment can include orthopedic measures such as a neck brace, stress reduction therapies, or even surgery. Even the changing of habits, such as buying a better pillow, or using the neck rest in your car can make a big difference.