Symptoms of nerve damage in the neck

Written by dana severson
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As with any location along the spine, your neck is susceptible to injury. This would include nerve damage, either within the cord itself or those muscles that make up your neck. When you are unlucky enough to suffer nerve damage in your neck, you can experience a number of symptoms due to the injury.

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Probably the most common symptom of damage to a nerve in the neck will be pain. Since we each react differently to trauma or injury, your pain may run from an almost throbbing, dull pain to a shooting, sharp sensation.


Often, damage to a nerve in the neck will prompt the muscles to tighten, creating a stiffness or change in the range of motion in the neck, limiting the rotation of your head.


Many people who have suffered from damage to a nerve in the neck also encounter some numbness or a prickling sensation with the neck, and down into the shoulders or upper back. This may also manifest as a burning or tingling within these same areas.


You may also notice a certain amount of weakness in the neck after you've suffered from nerve damage. This may prompt more pain or tightness, as the muscle of the neck must overcompensate for this lack of strength.

Positional Issues

Sometimes nerve damage in the neck can make it difficult to find a position in which to hold your head, making it necessary to adjust the tilt or location of your head to attain the most relaxed and painless location possible.


In some people, nerve damage in the neck may bring about muscle spasms or muscle twitches within the neck and surrounding areas (shoulders and upper back).

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