Harvard Men's Health Watch

Turn away from neck pain

Poor lifestyle habits can trigger chronic neck pain that impedes daily activities and raises your risk of serious health issues.


Muscle strains caused by poor posture and sleeping positions often trigger neck pain.
Image: wavebreakmedia/Thinkstock

Neck pain is a nagging ailment that affects everyone at some time. In fact, approximately 80% of people experience neck pain during their lifetime, and 20% to 50% deal with it annually, according to Dr. Frank Pedlow, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

Besides the obvious problem of physical discomfort, neck pain can trigger headaches and cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms. You may have trouble sleeping and difficulty turning your head, which can make driving dangerous.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »