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Why do I get neck pain when I drink alcohol?

Rare causes of neck pain


Some causes of neck pain are not immediately on the screen. And yet they exist and should be noted.

It is usually the typical causes that cause neck pain: lack of exercise, stress, poor posture, injuries. But there are also causes that are not immediately on the screen and which many doctors do not even consider. Often out of ignorance or because the frequency is relatively low compared to the usual suspects. 5 causes of neck pain that no-one immediately thinks about:

Neck pain from excessive alcohol and nicotine consumption

Too much alcohol, too much nicotine can be life threatening. In any case, the use of these poisons in the long run always brings with it significant health damage. Every human knows that. Why these toxins exert an irresistible appeal on many, in spite of everything, that psychology today may explain in some ways. In addition to the countless, negative health effects of these drugs, it can also cause neck pain. Only a few will find a connection at first, but there are medical examinations that suggest it.

Pain in the neck due to too much alcohol

For this, a certain negative quality of alcohol comes into play: alcohol dehydrates, in German, dries out. Everyone knows the increased frequency of toilet trips after consuming a few glasses of alcohol. With the increased urine excretion, many valuable electrolytes are lost to the body:

  • potassium
  • sodium
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • chloride
  • phosphate
  • bicarbonate

Unfortunately, alcohol also makes it difficult to get new electrolytes out of the intestine. With regard to the electrolyte balance, the body moves within a fairly narrow tolerance limit. Normally this does not mean a problem, because every day we take with drinks (non-alcoholic!) And food enough electrolytes. However, when the electrolyte balance gets out of balance , it first becomes noticeable in the form of headaches and neck pain . The two most common reasons for a lack of electrolytes are excessive sweating and excessive drinking.

Another cause of neck pain from too much alcohol is with the liver. As always, when it comes to poisons, she gets every effort and is often overloaded. An association between liver disorders and neck and shoulder pain was first noted in osteopathy. It is believed that there are certain associated pain points in liver disorders, including:

  • Pain in the area of ​​the 4th and 5th cervical vertebra
  • Shoulder pain right side
  • Pain in the area of ​​the right shoulder blade

The symptom “liver headache” also often begins with tension and pain in the neck and shoulder area.

Neck pain from nicotine

There are many complaints and illnesses that are caused by smoking. At neck pain, one does not think at first. The cause of this relationship was found in researchers in the brain. There are two areas that are responsible for the reward and motivational behavior. The same areas are also concerned with the processing of pain signals. Nicotine damages the brain especially in these areas, it leads to an increased sense of pain. The pain stimuli get into an infinite loop and this causes the chronic pain . Most commonly, these pains occur in the neck and back.

Neck pain due to excessive heavy metal contamination (eg amalgam)

While acute heavy metal poisoning shows quite violent and clear with corresponding symptoms, a heavy metal load is associated with very unspecific symptoms for a long time. One symptom is neck pain . Unfortunately, the danger of contracting such a creeping poisoning lurks almost everywhere. The most prominent examples from everyday life are:
  • Amalgam fillings in the teeth (mercury)
  • Lead in drinking water (obsolete pipes)
  • food contaminated with heavy metal (fish, mushrooms)
  • Industry, exhaust gases, smoking (chromium, arsenic, mercury, cobalt, nickel, cadmium …)
  • Kitchen: processing, packaging (aluminum)

Long-term exposure to heavy metals causes damage first and foremost

  • the nerves
  • the liver
  • of the kidneys
  • and an increased cancer risk

The liver is a true all-rounder. It builds up and down substances, stores and detoxifies. There is hardly any process in the body where the liver is not involved in any way. As detoxification center, the liver reacts with an enlargement of its tissue, especially in long-term overloads. Chronic heavy metal poisoning can lead to an enlarged liver (hepatomegaly, fatty liver).

Liver disorders can be associated with certain orthopedic areas. The joints have a strong connection to the liver. In the joints, it is primarily the small joints of the cervical spine, the lumbar spine and the ankles.

Most symptoms of heavy metal poisoning are very unspecific. For neck pain you will therefore rarely think immediately of poisoning by heavy metals.
If neck pain over a long period of time, repeatedly appear or even persist and can be found neither orthopedic, psychological, nor disease-related causes, must also be thought of heavy metal pollution. For example, along with other nonspecific symptoms such as:

  • unrest
  • difficulty concentrating
  • sweats
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • Blood pressure fluctuations
  • allergic reaction
  • skin rash
  • nausea
  • Tension pains: head, neck, back

Neck pain from tense eye muscles

A tense eye muscle and neck pain, this is a connection that may not be immediately obvious. But it is true, the eye movements are related to the neck muscles. If the neck is tight, it is also the eye muscles and vice versa.

In a reflexive movement, this can be clearly demonstrated as an example. If you want to see a nearby object better, focus on the eyes and the pupils are wide. If there is still nothing to see, then the head pushes reflexively backwards. This is a movement in the cervical spine. And that’s exactly how it happens the other way round, a target far away is supposed to be focused, but is not the view enough? Then the head is automatically pulled forward.

The worse this focusing with the eyes works, the more the neck muscles have to suffer. As a result, it comes to muscular tension in the neck region and soon to neck pain.

With another attempt you can even feel the context:

  • Place a hand lightly and flat on the neck
  • now move your eyes
  • keep your head still
  • one will perceive slight movements under the hand

Influencing these two muscle groups works in both directions. That is, who sits at the desk all day with tense, immovable neck, will soon perceive the first symptoms of the eyes (burning, pressure, pain). Just the other way around: If you are staring at a monitor without eye movements all day, the neck of your neck is almost parallel.

Neck pain from a cold / infections / infections

The common cold, a common cold, is one of the most common viral infections. The onset is, in contrast to a flu, insidious. You feel generally beaten and tired. Pretty soon, the typical side effects, such as runny nose, coughing and hoarseness. Not infrequently it also comes to body aches. Often, the general body aches are coupled with neck pain or back pain.

The typical neck pain from colds can be recognized by the fact that they increase when turning the head, no matter which side. When touching, the neck feels hard and with slight pressure it hurts.

It is less common to have neck pain as a result of a progressed inflammation. In case of a cold, the pleura (peritonitis) or the vertebral bodies (spondylodiscitis) may become inflamed. These inflammations then cause severe neck pain. In some cases, it can be a bacterial infection. Then a medical check-up is advisable.

Usually, the neck pain disappears with the other symptoms of the cold again. However, if they persist, a doctor should be consulted. In other words, neck pain is a rather unspecific symptom of a cold or a flu infection and usually harmless nature.

How does it come to these harmless neck pain in a cold? This can be explained relatively simply by the spatial proximity of the inflammatory foci. In the case of a cold, inflammation usually spreads to the upper and middle part of the respiratory tract. Due to the proximity to the cervical spine, in this area, due to the inflammation, it can also lead to an over-stimulation of the local nerves. The neck muscles receive constant stimuli, tensed and it comes to pain. Sometimes even indurations, in the form of small, tender nodules, can be felt.

In addition, sick people move less, which often leads to a tension. Constant lying generally promotes neck pain through tension. Therefore, one has the feeling that the neck pain is directly related to the cold or the infection. In fact, it is simply the lack of exercise and the constant lying in bed or on the couch of the home for the tension-related pain. Advisable is simply the regular getting up and moving. Even if you are tired and broken, some exercise is always advisable . Also a hot shower or a cherry stone pillow on the appropriate spot helps.

Neck pain due to iron deficiency

Iron deficiency is the eternal controversy between conventional and alternative medicine. While iron deficiency is only diagnosed in conventional medicine when the hemoglobin levels (hemoglobin = iron-containing protein complex of red blood cells) are lowered, alternative medicine assumes that iron deficiency is already much more noticeable.

The latter is not so easily detectable. Iron is in the body

  • for the most part in hemoglobin (up to 70%)
  • in muscle protein (myoglobin)
  • as ferritin storage iron (in liver, spleen and bone marrow)

On average, there are 3.5 to 5 grams of iron in the human body. The daily requirement is 0.5 to 5 g and this requires a supply of on average 10 to 15 mg of iron. Conventional medicine diagnoses an iron deficiency when the supply of iron in the body is no longer enough for the formation of red blood cells or these are no longer properly formed. But iron is not only needed for blood formation. Iron is involved in well over 100 functions in the body. Among other things in the areas

  • hormone production
  • energy Education
  • brain power

Symptoms can occur in all these areas without the blood count having to provide information about iron deficiency. One therefore assumes a relatively high number of people who are said to be affected by iron deficiency. The symptoms are very general, so rarely is iron deficiency diagnosed. For iron deficiency syndrome (IDS-Iron Deficiency syndrome) 10 main symptoms are given. In addition to fatigue and lack of concentration include neck pain as a result of muscular tension. Iron deficiency leads to a reduced energy production in the cells. Of course, this also applies to the muscle cells in which energy plays an increased role.

Similar to hemoglobin (blood protein), myoglobin (muscle protein) binds oxygen with the help of iron. Myoglobin absorbs the oxygen from the blood and makes it available for work in the muscle cells. A lack of iron or a large loss of iron has a negative impact on healthy muscle work.


It is not always the old known causes that cause neck pain. Sometimes a glance outside the box helps to diagnose pain that is difficult to explain.

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