As a center for drug and alcohol treatment in Stuart, we know that binge drinking or drinking excessively can cause numerous problems. Alcohol is considered a sedative, meaning it depresses the central nervous system in high doses or acts as a stimulant in lower doses. Drinking too much can cause side effects ranging from euphoria to coma. If you’ve ever had too much to drink or are in recovery from alcoholism, then you may have also experienced neck and shoulder pain after drinking alcohol before. But do you know why?
Dehydration is a common side effect of drinking too much alcohol. Not only may the person forget to drink water, but alcohol itself also dehydrates the body. Drinking reduces the production of an antidiuretic hormone called vasopressin. “Antidiuretic” basically means that it helps the body hold onto water. When a person drinks too much, they suppress vasopressin, resulting in dehydration. But what does this have to do with your neck? Well, between each vertebra in your neck is a disc that absorbs any impact and movement and reduces stress. Each of these discs is made out of a gel-like material that becomes stiff when a person is dehydrated, which is why back neck pain after drinking alcohol is so common.
Drinking too much alcohol depresses the central nervous system, often causing a person to fall asleep or even lose consciousness. Back and neck pain after drinking alcohol is common simply because these individuals may fall asleep in an uncomfortable position.
In 2015, between 15 and 20 million Americans were affected by alcohol use disorder.1 Alcohol abuse is not a joke and should not be taken lightly. If you struggle with alcoholism, a stiff neck is the least of your worries. At Banyan Treatment Centers Stuart, we offer alcohol detox in Florida that serves as the first step of recovery for people battling alcoholism. Individuals who want to quit drinking and change their lives for the better can begin their recovery journey with us.
Alcohol myopathy is common in people with alcohol addictions. It’s estimated that 20 out of every 100,000 people in the Western Hemisphere suffer from this condition, which equates to roughly 40 to 60 percent of all chronic alcoholics in the U.S.2 Myopathy is a condition that causes loss of muscle strength and function. Alcoholic myopathy is muscle loss and dysfunction caused by long-term drinking. It can either be a chronic condition or occur after the individual drinks alcohol. Although the causes of alcoholic myopathy are unclear, health care professionals and researchers believe alcohol affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Some common side effects of this condition include muscle cramping, stiffness, spasms, and pain.
Having painful lymph nodes after drinking alcohol can also cause neck pain. Lymph nodes are immune system glands that are located in various areas of the body, including the armpits, chest, stomach, groin, and neck. When lymph nodes detect bacteria or infection, they become swollen and irritated, which can cause pain. Cervical lymph nodes are located in the neck. When a person drinks too much alcohol, blood vessels dilate, activating the release of lymph fluid in the body. Because alcohol is a diuretic, drinking too much also causes the kidneys to release more fluids. Cervical lymph nodes may swell as a reaction to excessive amounts of alcohol, causing pain.
Frequent neck pain is only one of the signs of alcoholism. Excessive drinking can cause a lot more than neck and shoulder pain. The more alcohol a person drinks, the more tolerant they become, and the more likely they are to develop an addiction. Those who have become physically dependent on alcohol often require formal alcohol addiction treatment in order to quit and stay sober.