The neck is where our cervical spine is located. It is one of the most important areas of our body and unfortunately, it is very susceptible to injury. Picture your neck and head much like a bowling ball being held on top of a stick by small, thin, elastic bands. It doesn’t take much force to disrupt that delicate balance.
The spinal cord runs through a space in the vertebrae to send nerve impulses to every part of the body. Between each pair of cervical vertebrae, the spinal cord sends off large bundles of nerves that run down the arms and the upper back. This means that if your arm is hurting, it may actually be a problem in the neck. Symptoms in the arms and hands can include numbness, aching, tingling, and a cold feeling in the fingers. These symptoms can be confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition in the hands that is often found in people who work at computer keyboards or perform other repetitive motion tasks for extended periods. Problems in the neck can also contribute to headaches, muscle spasms in the shoulders and upper back, tinnitus or ringing in the ears, otitis media or ear infections, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), restricted range of motion and chronic tightness in the neck and upper back.