Cervical Spine Dysfunction
Cervical spine dysfunction is the most common cause of neck pain, affecting individuals of all ages, with a slightly higher prevalence between the active ages of 12 and 50. Improper alignment of the facet joints in the spine, which may also be due to an issue with the cushioning (discs) between the vertebrae, is frequently to blame. Contributing factors are typically prolonged neck movement, sleeping or resting too long in an unnatural position, or injury.
The result is soreness, pain, or stiffness in the cervical spine, which consists of the first seven vertebrae beginning at the base of the skull and moving downward through the neck. At times, the misalignment can cause a muscle spasm to occur, leading to additional pain and stiffness in the neck or back.