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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Why does neck pain become persistent?

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In some cases, persistent neck pain has a specific cause, such as a damaged facet joint or disc. However, neck pain quite often continues even after the original problem has settled down.

If your neck pain lasts a while, lack of movement can cause your neck muscles to become weak and stiff – they will then tire more easily and will be more likely to hurt when you move them.

When you're in pain your instinct may be to avoid normal activities and movement. Over time you may start avoiding more and more activities and this can start to affect your work, social life, personal relationships, hobbies and interests. 

As you do less of the things you enjoy and start to lose confidence you may start to feel anxious or depressed. You may feel that family members and medical professionals appear unhelpful or unsympathetic.

If you're anxious or depressed, you may not feel like exercising or doing everyday activities, so your muscles become weaker still, and so it goes on.

This can happen to anyone, and the longer the pain cycle continues the harder it’ll be to recover your movement, activities and confidence. The tips in the self-help and daily living section can help to prevent or break this pain cycle.

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