Left Side Neck Pain CausesCommon causes of left-sided neck pain include sleeping in an awkward position, carrying poorly distributed weight in a shoulder-bag or back pack, and having poor posture when at work or at home. Even for left-handed people engaging in activities that are not part of a usual routine such as bowling, tennis, squash or similar sport, and writing an exam when used to typing with both hands can lead to left-sided neck pain due to acute stress and strain. Congenital abnormalities, trauma, tension, poor posture, and incorrect manual handling can all cause strains in the neck and back musculature. Brachial plexus injury through repetitive microtrauma or an accident during contact sports such as football or martial arts may be responsible for left-sided neck pain along with shoulder pain. Thoracic outlet syndrome may lead to left-sided neck pain, along with swelling, persistent sinus infections, and a discrepancy in the warmth of the hands due to circulatory problems.
A patient may develop left-sided neck pain after a headache, sinus pain, or eyestrain in the left-side of the face. This can cause the muscles in the face and neck to become tense, with squinting, sniffing, and even the adoption of a position where the left arm is raised to shield the eyes from bright lights; all of these activities may inadvertently lead to strain on the muscles in the left shoulder and in the neck, causing left-sided neck pain.
poor sleeping posture
Causes Often Overlooked
Cell-phone use is a common cause of right-sided neck pain but can also lead to left-sided neck pain in those who are left-handed. Travelling in another country and driving a manual car where the gear-stick is on the left may also lead to left-sided neck pain in some due to tension incurred by driving in an unfamiliar situation and the sudden use of the left hand and arm in a novel fashion. Other causes of left-sided neck pain can include having one leg longer than the other, or a worn-down heel on one shoe leading to an uneven gait. This can then put strain on one side of the body and cause a spinal alignment problem resulting in left-sided, or indeed right-sided, neck pain. Checking the shoes for signs of uneven wear and tear may provide insight into the origin of neck pain, particularly where unilateral hip or back pain also occurs.
Conditions Related to Left Side Neck Pain
Cervical spinal stenosis through wear and tear, as well as from acute trauma to the neck from a fall, whiplash, or blunt force trauma can cause left-sided neck pain. This could be due to inflammation which would then usually subside with rest and the application of ice. In cases where mechanical obstruction from osteophyte growth, disc herniation, or fracture is the cause of nerve compression it is likely that back surgery will be required to relieve the left-sided neck pain. Facet joint syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia can all be causes of left-sided neck pain and an accurate diagnosis is paramount in ensuring the correct treatments are applied to relieve the symptoms.
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Last Updated: 04/28/2011