Cervical back pain is usually caused by muscle overuse, muscle strain or injury. Your cervical spine consists of bones, ligaments, nerves, muscles, and tendons and any of these may be the source of your upper back pain. The most common cervical spine complaints include:
Simple muscle strains are the most common of neck injuries. These injuries usually last no more than a couple of weeks. If pain persists it may be something else. Muscle strains are often caused by overuse or overextension of the cervical spine. Poor posture is often the root cause of cervical muscle strain. Other causes may be a sports injury, repetitive motion and sleeping in awkward position.
If you are experiencing pain that radiates in your shoulders, arms and hands it may be cervical radiculopathy. Cervical radiculopathy, also known as a pinched nerve, occurs when the neck is compressed or irritated to the point it protrudes from the spinal column. Pinched nerve occurs frequently in older individuals due to aging. In younger people it is most likely caused by a herniated disk.
Cervical osteoarthritis, also known as cervical spondylosis. If you are experiencing neck stiffness, or pain in the shoulder or arms, it may be cervical osteoarthritis. This condition is often caused by normal wear and tear of aging. With age, the discs of the cervical spine gradually deteriorate, lose fluid, and become stiffer. Cervical osteoarthritis usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly people.
Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease
There are several factors that may cause cervical degenerative disc disease. Common causes are the drying out of the disc. When we are born our discs are predominately water but as we age the discs dry out and no longer absorb shocks as well. Other causes may be sports injuries and other injuries which tear the outer core of the discs.