Injury, muscle tension or strain, and certain diseases or conditions may cause neck pain, states Healthline. Rarely, the pain may result from cancer of the spine, congenital abnormalities, abscesses, infections or tumors.
A fall, car accident or sport's injury may displace muscle and ligaments from their normal range, notes Healthline. Neck pain due to an unexpected jerking of the head is known as whiplash. Activities that can bring about muscle tension and strain include jerking the head during exercise, bad positioning of the neck when sleeping, bad posture or working at a desk for too long without changing positions.
Fibromyalgia, arthritis and osteoporosis can also lead to pain in muscles of the neck, according to Healthline. Meningitis, which is the inflammation of thin tissues around the brain and spinal cord, may cause neck pain as well. Neck stiffness associated with this disease may indicate a serious problem.
Patients may relieve neck pain by avoiding activities that worsen the condition, applying cold and heat therapy to the neck, changing positions regularly and using a special neck pillow for sleeping, advises Healthline. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen; gentle massage; practicing good posture; and daily neck exercise may also help alleviate the pain.