Muscle, Ligament or Joint Capsule Strains
Heavy lifting or sudden jarring movements (like whiplash) can strain your back muscles and spinal ligaments.
Bulging or Ruptured Discs
Discs made of soft tissue cushion the vertebrae in your spine. For various reasons, including injury and disease, discs may bulge out of place or rupture and place painful pressure on your nerves.
Osteoarthritis in the back can be very painful, and can occasionally lead to spondylosis or stenosis: a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord.
If your spine curves in an abnormal way, it can distribute your weight unevenly and deteriorate your discs faster. Common diagnoses include scoliosis and kyphosis.
Osteoporosis makes your bones more porous and brittle, which can lead to compression fractures that cause gradual or sudden, severe back or hip pain.
Even normal activities can sometimes trigger neck pain, including driving or typing for extended periods of time. Be sure to maintain proper posture to reduce the risk of straining your neck.
Your joints withstand a great deal of wear and tear over your lifetime. As you age, this normal degeneration can cause osteoarthritis in your neck, which may become painful.
Herniated discs (also called a slipped, ruptured or degenerative disc) and bone spurs in your neck can put pressure on the nerves in your spinal cord and cause pain.
Sudden, jarring movements, such as whiplash, can stretch the soft tissues in your neck beyond their limits. Such soft tissue injuries include muscle strain and spasm, ligament and joint capsule sprains.
Rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, cancer and other diseases can cause neck pain. If you experience prominent weakness or general body symptoms with your neck pain, see a doctor as soon as possible to rule out these diseases.