Many people experience neck pain, which can be described as pain in the neck muscles, nerves, bones, and/or the disks between the bones. Muscle strain or tension, usually from everyday activities like leaning over your computer, slouching, or sleeping with your neck twisted, is a common cause of neck pain. Arthritis and whiplash are other causes of neck pain.

Accidents can cause whiplash and other injuries to the neck. Whiplash happens when the neck moves back-and-forth forcefully and fast; this is usually caused by car accidents. Sports accidents and other types of trauma are other causes of whiplash.

Rarely, neck pain is caused by a serious problem like an infection or tumor.

Common symptoms of upper and middle back pain are:

  • A dull, burning, or sharp pain
  • Muscle tightness or stiffness

Get emergency medical care if you have:

  • Back pain after an accident
  • Back pain with chest pain
  • Weakness in your arms or legs
  • Loss of control over your bowels or bladder
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, chest, or belly