Neck Pain On the Left Side – Causes and Treatment

A crucial component of the human body is the neck. It gives the head stability and mobility. In addition to muscles and significant blood arteries, it also houses the cervical spinal cord. Since the neck is frequently exposed, there is a greater chance that its internal structures will be hurt.

Many daily activities and jobs might cause transient neck pain. In fact, one of the top five most prevalent chronic pain conditions is neck discomfort.

Most often, benign causes like muscle strain from sleeping incorrectly or inflammation result in pain on the left side of the neck. But severe or persistent neck pain on the left side can be a sign of a more serious underlying illness.

Through this article, we will cover the reasons for left-side neck pain, when to consult a doctor, potential treatment options, and more. So, keep reading!!

Reasons For Pain on the Left Side Neck:

Common causes of left-side neck pain


The body’s reaction to an injury or an illness is inflammation. It may result in symptoms such as discomfort, numbness, stiffness, oedema, and pain. To address inflammation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are frequently the first line of treatment which are usually available for purchase right away.

Muscle Strain and/or Tension

In the majority of cases, these two issues are the reasons behind pain originating on the left side of the neck. Anything can cause muscle strain if it either gets torn or overstretched.

  • Sitting in the same position or leaning forward for a long span.
  • Sleeping with a bent neck position.
  • Stress issues
  • Age factor
  • Nerve compression
  • Impact causing whiplash

Pinched nerve

When a neck nerve becomes inflamed or compressed as it leaves the spinal cord, it develops a pinched nerve. If it’s on the left side, it could result in discomfort and numbness in the left shoulder.

Acute torticollis

It is a condition in which the neck muscles contract making the head move or twist to one side. Sudden turning to the left or right causes neck pain.


You may experience whiplash during accidents and sports such as football. It causes pain mainly in the left side of the neck and causes headaches with stiff muscles.


Meninges protect the brain and spine from external attacks. In some conditions, this layer can undergo inflammation by viruses or bacteria, resulting in discomfort.

Cervical Fracture

Sports, road accidents, or sudden impacts can cause the first bones of the vertebra, known as the cervical vertebra, to suffer from damage.

Rare causes of left-side neck pain

Spinal tumours

A growth that develops inside the spinal canal or the bones of your spine is called a spinal tumour. It can hurt where the tumour is located and may be benign (noncancerous) or cancerous. Another typical symptom is muscle weakness. Up until the tumour is treated, the symptoms usually get worse.

Congenital abnormalities

Left-side neck pain symptoms similar to these can be caused by a variety of illnesses that can affect newborn babies, like congenital torticollis or congenital vertebral abnormalities.

When Should You Consult A Doctor? 

A doctor should be consulted if the left side of your neck pain lasts more than a week and doesn’t improve with treatment.

See a doctor as soon as you can if you begin to have discomfort that travels down your arms or legs or if you get numbness or tingling in your neck. The timely evaluation of neck pain that is accompanied by a headache is equally important.

Seek quick medical assistance if neck pain is brought on by an event, such as a car accident, a slip and fall, or a sports injury.

Treatment For Left Side Neck Pain:

Your disease, its severity, and your general health will all influence the best course of treatment for your neck pain.

For the first two to three days, try using a heating pad or taking hot showers for about 20 minutes at a time for minimal neck pain. Use ice packs for 10 to 20 minutes a few times per day after that.

Home remedies

  • Practice gentle and slow stretchings
  • Try body massages
  • Take anti-inflammatory medication
  • Use comforting postures
  • Adjust your chair to your computer screen levels
  • Sleep with your head and neck aligned 
  • Avoid carrying heavy items

Physical therapy

Physical therapy may be suggested as a pain-relieving strategy which includes exercises, posture corrections, and other modifications.

Corticosteroid injections

Depending on the location of the pain, your doctor may administer corticosteroid injections to soothe the pain and reduce inflammation in the nerve roots, muscles, or spaces between the vertebrae on the left side of your neck.


Surgery can be required to relieve pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots or to fix a fracture. In some cases, wearing a neck brace is sufficient to maintain stability while the cervical vertebrae heal naturally.


It’s typical to experience vague left-side neck pain. About two-thirds of people experience non-specific neck pain at some point in their lives. After a few days of rest, the majority of neck pain that results from muscle strain normally goes away. Seek medical help if your discomfort lasts longer than a week or is accompanied by other symptoms. Getting a complete medical evaluation will prevent you from speculating if the pain could be more serious.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you know when your neck pain is severe?

  • despite self-care, if the pain worsens
  • If there is a pain in your legs or arms.
  • It comes with a headache, weakness, numbness, or tingling.

What are some red flags of one-sided neck pain?

  1. Sudden weight loss
  2. Unexplained fever
  3. Painful pounding on the spine
  4. Chronic headache
  5. Nausea, dizziness, and vomiting 
  6. Steroid use, HIV, and some other drug abuse

What is the correlation between one-sided neck pain and headache?

The typical onset of a cervicogenic headache is a dull discomfort in the neck that travels upward along the back of the head, almost invariably being unilateral. The forehead, temples, and region surrounding the eyes and ears may also experience pain. A disc, joint, muscle, or nerve tissue in the neck is the underlying cause of CGH.

What are lymph nodes?

An immune system component in the shape of a tiny bean is known as a lymph node. The lymph nodes in the body include lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that aid in the body’s defence against disease and infection. They filter chemicals that pass through the lymphatic fluid. 

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