Neck nerve problems

Updated February 21, 2017

The narrow passage of the spine is what connects our brain to the other parts of our body. The nerves that connect our bodies to our brain travel through the neck. Injuries to neck nerves can cause more than just problems in the neck--they can cause pain or sensations anywhere in the body.


A burner is an injury to nerves in the neck, usually a result from trauma during sports. Burners are also called stingers because the pain sensation they cause is described as a burning or stinging sensation. Burners will usually heal on their own, although you might need physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles around the nerve and prevent re-injury.

Body Pain

All of the nerves in the body are connected to nerves in the neck, which send pain and other impulses to the brain. These nerves are called peripheral nerves. Sometimes, an injury to a nerve in the neck will cause pain in other parts of the body, including the hands, feet and back. For example, an injury to the neck that affects the base of the peripheral nerve that runs down the arm can cause numbness and tingling in the fingers or the entire hand, even though the hand itself is not injured.

Pinched Nerves

Nerves in the neck can be pinched by the cervical vertebrae, which are the bones of the spine that protect the nerves. Most often, this is caused by arthritis or some form of damage to the discs that cushion the vertebrae. This can lead to severe neck pain, or may cause pain in other parts of the body.


Whiplash occurs when the neck muscles are rapidly stretched beyond their normal limits. Whiplash often occurs as the result of a traffic accident. People who suffer from whiplash may notice dizziness up to several days after the injury because of damage to the nerves in the neck. Neck nerves damaged by whiplash may also cause pain or a tingling sensation in other parts of the body.

Vagus Nerves

The vagus nerves are the longest nerves in the body and control the digestive tract and other bodily functions. When a vagus nerve is injured or damaged, it can result in dizziness, nausea and vomiting. The vagus nerves also appear to be tied to seizure activity and can be artificially stimulated to help prevent seizures or to provide relief for other conditions.

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About the Author

Sophie Stillwell has been writing professionally since 1992. She is published in "The Gorham Times" newspaper, "Private Colleges & Universities" magazine, on eHow and in several other publications. She has experience working as a paralegal, antiques dealer and neurobehavioral coach. Her writing topics frequently include frugal living, pets and health. Stillwell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Southern Maine.