The Neck or Cervical Spine,
Is a coordinated network of nerves, bones, joints, and muscles directed by the brain and the spinal cord. ... Commonly, there are a number of problems that cause pain in the neck. Additionally, irritation along the nerve pathways can cause pain into the shoulder, head, arm, and hand.
A spasm is a sudden, powerful, involuntary contraction of muscles. The muscles feel painful, stiff and knotted. If you have neck muscle spasms, you may not be able to move your neck — sometimes people call it a crick in the neck. Often it is called wry neck.
The neck muscles are sore and may have hard knots (trigger points) that are tender to touch. Pain is often felt up the middle of the back of the neck, or it may ache on one side only.
Stiffness - The neck muscles are tight and if you spend too long in one position they feel even tighter. Neck stiffness can make it difficult or painful to move your neck.
Nerve Root impingment
Pain from the neck can radiate down the arms, and sometimes, the legs. You may feel a sensation of pins and needles or tingling in your arms, which can be accompanied by numbness, burning or weakness. This pain is typically worse at night.
This commonly follows a car accident in which the person’s car is hit from behind while it is stationary or slowing down. The person’s head is first thrown backwards and then when their body stops moving, the head is thrust forward. This type of injury can strain your neck muscles and cause ligaments in the neck to stretch or tear.
The pain from whiplash, which is usually worse with movement, does not always start immediately — it may take several days to come on. Neck pain and stiffness may be accompanied by muscle spasm, dizziness, headaches, nerve pain and shoulder pain.
Ongoing overuse of your neck muscles (which can be caused by a poor neck position during everyday activities, particularly computer work) can trigger neck muscle strain, causing chronic neck pain and stiffness. The pain is often worse with movement and may be associated with headaches, muscle spasms and restriction of neck movements.
Degenerative disc disease
As we grow older, the soft gelatinous centre of the shock-absorbing discs in our spines dries out. This causes the discs to become narrowed, and the distance between the vertebrae to decrease.
Facet Joint Degeneration
Age related Osteo-degenerative changes to the facet joints may cause reduced mobility and pain with sleep disturbance .