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Can My Anxiety Cause Neck Pain?

Sometimes it feels like we’re dealing with more stress and worry every day. Could all this anxiety cause neck pain?

can anxiety cause neck pain

 Anxiety and Pain

There are many studies showing the connection between neck pain and psychological symptoms such as stress, anxiety, and depression. In previous articles we’ve talked about the relationship between depression and chronic pain. Chronic pain can lead to depression, which can lead to inactivity, and worsen the chronic pain. The two can cause a downward spiral.

But what about anxiety and chronic pain? More specifically, can anxiety cause something like neck pain? What does anxiety do to the body, physically?

Anxiety and muscle tension often go hand in hand. Tense muscles in the face, jaw, neck, shoulders, and upper back are often found in people who are stressed or anxious. Tension in this area can lead to neck pain. So, is your anxiety causing your neck pain? It could be. But, it could also be something in your spine creating the problem. Determining the cause of neck pain is not always straight forward.

Read More: Spine or Muscle Pain?

So, What is Causing My Neck Pain?

We know stress and anxiety can cause muscle tension in the upper body, leading to neck pain. But conditions of the spine can lead to pressure on nerves. The pressure can iritate the nerves and send excessive signals to other areas of the body. So, a disc or vertebrae issue in the neck can send signals to muscles in the shoulders and upper back. This can cause muscle spasms. Over time, the muscles can become fatigued and painful.

What does this all tell us? Yes, anxiety can cause muscle tension and neck pain. But, neck and muscle pain in the upper back and shoulder area can also be caused by a problem in the cervical spine. So, what should you do? Exercise is helpful for both spinal conditions and stress. Walking and neck stretches are a great way to start trying to relieve your neck pain. There are plenty of gentle exercises and strengthening neck exercises you can try at home. If your pain continues, it may be time to consult with a doctor for your neck pain. The doctors at Saratoga Spine are ready to help diagnose and treat your condition. Contact us if you’re ready to schedule an appointment.



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery