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Can Anxiety Cause Neck Pain?

anxiety and neck pain

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Are you having problems with neck pain? Are you also feeling more anxious? Anxiety and neck pain can often occur together.

Ongoing pain causes many people to feel anxious. Unfortunately, when you are anxious, you can get neck pain. It can become a “chicken or the egg” type of experience.

Our readers suffering from tension in neck and shoulders are asking “Can anxiety cause neck pain?” Continue reading to learn more about the relationship between anxiety and neck pain. You will also find tips to try and help relieve your symptoms.

Understanding Anxiety


Anxiety describes one type of emotion. It often causes a tense feeling, worrying, and even physical changes. You may notice more difficulty concentrating.

Some physical symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Dizziness

Some people also report that their neck feels tight. Muscle tension may also occur in other parts of the body as well.

Experts don’t fully understand the causes of anxiety disorders. Traumatic events often trigger anxiety in people who are more prone to feeling anxious.

How Common are Work-Related Injuries to the Neck?

Did you know neck injuries occur quite often in the workplace? Several factors can contribute to neck problems. This includes repetitive motion disorders and slips and falls.

If you have an injury at work, notify your supervisor immediately. The next step is to see an experienced doctor and find out if you need treatment.

How Are Anxiety and Neck Pain Related?

When the body experiences trauma, the musculoskeletal and nervous system responds with pain. Neck pain can also occur due to emotionally-driven anxiety. In this case, you may experience tension in the neck and shoulders from anxiety.

Thus, having an injury can cause neck pain. This may cause you to worry about the injury. Worrying can increase your muscle tension and make the neck pain worse.

The key is to break the cycle.

Tips to Relieving Anxiety and Neck Pain

If you have an injury, it’s important to see a doctor first. They can determine the severity of your injury. Once you are “cleared” by your doctor, you may try some of the following tips to relieve neck pain and anxiety.

  • A gentle neck massage can help relax muscles
  • Use hot and/or cold compresses for up to 20 minutes at a time
  • Gentle stretching of the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back can relieve tension
  • Yoga can provide physical and emotional relaxation
  • Try decreasing or stopping smoking cigarettes and drinking caffeine as this can increase nervousness
  • Moderate exercise raises cortisol levels which decreases stress and releases muscle tension

If any of these activities worsen your symptoms, stop and contact your doctor.

Have You Been Injured at Work?

If you have received a work-related injury, you need to report it and see a doctor. As described in this article, anxiety and neck pain go hand-in-hand and can feed off of each other.

It’s important to find the right worker’s comp doctor to diagnose your injuries and create a treatment plan. At, we keep a list of board-certified doctors in your area. They will provide treatment and help with documenting your injury.

If you plan to file a personal injury case, you want to have an expert that understands this process. This ensures that your legal rights are protected.

Call us today to find an experienced workers’ comp doctor near you!

Telemedicine Neurologist Near You

NEW:  Telemedicine appointments are now available with the best neck pain and injury doctors in the safety and comfort of your home.

Call (888) 590-4030 to schedule your virtual consultation or fill out the form below


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