neck ache sign of stress

Photo: Pixland/Thinkstock

7 of 7

NEXT

SLIDESHOW

You've Got Numbness or Tingling in Your Arms and Hands

Why it could be stress: You may be holding all that tension you're feeling in your neck and shoulders, a very common problem for women, says Holly Phillips, MD, an internist in New York and a medical contributor for CBS News. With major stress, the tension can lead to compression of a particular bundle of nerves that goes into your arm, causing that numbness and tingling. "Leaning over computers and smartphones for hours a day, and being stressed out while we're doing it, can make these muscle issues worse," she explains. "Our ears should be directly over our shoulders, but with this poor posture, they're a few inches forward. It's an awkward and pain-inducing position."

Other possible causes: Carpal tunnel syndrome—it can lead to numbness and tingling, too. Any task that involves flexing your wrist over and over can cause it. Another potential but less common culprit is nerve damage. But the sources can be serious (diabetes, infections, trauma and autoimmune conditions, to name a few), so if you notice these symptoms, call your doctor and make an appointment to get checked out.