It may arise from a stiff neck or even a whiplash injury. Neck pain that originates in the joints of the neck can often worsen when there is swelling which affects the surrounding nerves.
Whiplash is a hyper-extension and flexion injury to the neck caused by an acceleration deceleration force and is commonly associated with head to rear car accidents. A whiplash injury can also be sustained in many other ways such as from sports or a fall. If you are suffering from a whiplash injury, you will often have pain and symptoms in your neck, shoulders and upper back