A common complaint of modern life is tension in the upper back and neck. This is largely caused by our sedentary lifestyles of working behind a desk. Poor posture from leaning over a keyboard all day takes its toll on the neck muscles. Due to the large number of nerves and blood vessels which travel through the neck, this can cause a wide array of secondary symptoms:
- Tension headaches – muscular tension travels up the neck into the scalp causing pain
- Dermatome pain – impingement of nerves in the neck causes pain along specific pathways, such as the last two fingers
- Dizziness and feeling light-headed – disruption of the nerve and blood pathways to the brain
Stress is another common trigger as it causes us to raise and tense our shoulders without even realising. This added tension triggers off neck pain due to the muscles becoming knotted. The Gallbladder channel runs through the upper back, neck and lateral sides of the head. As this organ is often affected by stress, this causes those muscle pathways to become blocked and tense.
Sudden Exposure to a cold wind, especially after exercise, can allow a wind-cold pathogen to enter the muscle layer and cause the muscle to seize up. This is how Acupuncture explains “catching a chill”.
Any acute or sudden neck pain should be investigated immediately. I recommend you also involve your GP, as often US or CT scans are useful in ruling out spinal or disc related trauma.