Causes of left neck pain?

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Neck pain can indicate various health problems, including muscle, nerve, bone, or cardiovascular issues. Tight muscles, pinched nerves, bone degeneration, and cardiovascular disease can cause left neck pain. Treatment depends on the cause, ranging from rest and pain relievers to prescription drugs, cervical braces, or surgery. Emergency medical attention may be necessary for severe symptoms.

At best, neck pain can be a simple discomfort; at worst, neck pain can indicate a serious health problem. Such pains can spread throughout the neck or be localized in a particular area. If a person experiences left neck pain, the discomfort typically stems from problems with one of four body components: muscles, nerves, bones, or the cardiovascular system.

One of the most common types of neck pain occurs due to tight muscles. The neck contains many muscles and ligaments that connect the head to the shoulders, back and chest. Therefore, shoulder and neck pain, or neck and back pain combined, often signal an injury to these tissues. Such injuries are often the result of whiplash, overuse, or keeping the neck in an abnormal position for an extended period of time. Typical indicators of muscle injury include swelling, bruising, and weakness.

Pinched nerves are another common cause of neck pain. When the portion of the spine located in the neck has inflammatory arthritis, it can put pressure on the surrounding nerves, causing localized neck pain. Numbness and impaired movement often result from nerve injury.

Neck pain and bone degeneration can also go hand in hand, and the result can be right neck pain, frontal neck pain, or left neck pain. A degenerative disease that affects the discs in the neck is cervical spondylosis, a disorder that leads to the development of painful bone spurs. A different syndrome, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, occurs when the tendons and ligaments around the spine harden and stiffen. A herniated disc resulting from an injury can also cause pain. Loss of motion, swelling, and severe pain in the neck are manifested in these bone conditions.

Cardiovascular disease is perhaps the most serious potential cause of left neck pain. Many people know that the most common symptoms of a heart attack are chest pain and left arm pain, but many may not be aware that these pains can also travel to the left side of the neck. This type of referred pain can be sudden and intense, and come in waves. The arteries and veins in the neck can also suffer from vascular blockage, especially the carotid artery. Any cold or color change around the neck area could signal this type of problem.

Treatment for neck pain — left neck pain or otherwise — depends on the original cause. Minor injuries, for example, can be treated through rest, massage, or over-the-counter pain relievers. Preventive measures such as proper exercise or caution when performing strenuous activities can also reduce injuries. Some more serious symptoms, however, may signal that emergency medical attention is needed, including: sharp, stabbing pain, accompanying chest pain, numbness, tingling, new onset of severe headache, nausea, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Prescription drugs, cervical braces, or surgery may be needed for more serious conditions.

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