Mechanical: Tension could be caused by sudden jerks from falls or accidents, especially from whiplash in a motor vehicle accident, or accumulative stress such as working in a hunched position or reading with a book on your lap, or propped up on pillows in bed. Be careful of the basin at your hairdresser. Nowadays due to the amount of time we spend on cellphones, texting also has a huge effect on tension in the neck.
Emotional: The neck is especially vulnerable to emotional or mental stress, as the tensing of the shoulders in a defensive posture affects the neck muscles adversely.
Chemical: The neck is extremely susceptible to this, probably because the spinal cord is the thickest in this area. It is caused by exposure to toxic substances by inhalation, ingestion or direct contact with the skin.
Effects may include the following;
- Stiffness and difficulty rotating the neck
- Pain/numbness or tingling sensations in the shoulder, arm or hand
- Vision could be affected
- Sense of taste and smell
The phrenic nerve to the diaphragm arises from the cervical spine, so involuntary breathing could also be affected.