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All about Neck Pain
Neck pain can be a common complaint. Bad posture can strain your neck muscles.
”Home Remedies” coming up…
Sometimes, neck pain may be a sign that you have a more serious condition. If you experience neck pain that isn’t accompanied by loss of strength, numbness, or shooting pains in your arm or shoulder area, seek medical attention.
Other symptoms that may be “red flags” are fever, chills or pain radiating into the arms or legs, balance problems, coordination issues, and other troubling signs. To get a diagnosis and a treatment plan that works, you should consult a doctor.
Severe neck pain caused by an injury, such a motor car accident, dive accident, or fall, should be treated immediately.
What causes neck pain?
Your neck supports your head and is flexible. This is a difficult job. It is as strong as a bowling ball for all of its life. Your head weighs approximately 11 pounds. It is supported by the bones at your top and your muscles, ligaments, and your spine.
It can become susceptible to injuries and conditions which cause pain and limit motion.
There are many causes of neck pain, including:
- Poor posture
- Repetitive motion
- Bad sleep habits
- Gritting your teeth
- Trage a heavy shoulder bag, or purse
- Nerves pinched
- Sports injuries or other injuries
- Accidents involving whiplash in cars
- Osteoporosis can be caused by a fractured or collapsing vertebra.
- A slipped (herniated disk)
- Narrowed spaces within your spine (spinalstenosis).
Ligaments, muscles, tendons and nerves help to stabilize and move the cervical spinal column.
One of the most common causes of neck pain is when one of these soft tissus becomes strained from overuse, overextension. This injury usually heals in a matter of days.
Different problems in the cervical spine could cause severe neck pain and/or neurological impairments.
A degenerated disc can push into a nerve or a bone spur grows on the nerve.
It could be due to arthritis, disc degeneration or narrowing of spinal canal. It could also be a sign or cancer in rare cases. To determine the exact cause of serious neck problems, both a primary physician and sometimes a surgeon, such as neurosurgeons, should be consulted.
Bad posture, age and diseases such as arthritis may cause degeneration of cervical spine bones and joints. This can lead to disc herniation. A severe neck injury can cause disc herniation. Whiplash, blood vessel damage, spinal injury, and even permanent paralysis may all be possible. Herniated disks or bone spurs could cause a narrowing or obstruction of the spinal canal. These are the tiny openings through which the spinal nerve roots exit. This can put pressure on the spine cord or nerves.
The cervical pressure can cause serious problems. Nearly all the nerves that go to the rest the body must pass through the neck in order to reach their destination (arms and legs, chest, abdomen, etc.). This could cause many organs to malfunction. It can lead to numbness, pain, or weakness in the area where the nerve supplies.
Cervical Stenosis happens when the spinal canal narrows and compresses a spinal cord. It is most commonly caused due to degeneration that comes with age. (See also: AANS Cervical spine Patient Page). The discs in your spine that separate and cushion vertebrae might dry out. As a result, discs can lose their ability as shock absorbers and the space between the vertebrae may shrink. The spine’s bones and ligaments become more rigid and thicker. These changes cause narrowing in the spinal canal. Degenerative changes caused by cervical stenosis may also affect the vertebrae, causing bone spurs to grow that compress the nerve roots. Mild stenosis may be managed conservatively for longer periods, as long as it is limited to neck pain. Severestenosis could impinge on the spine, causing injury. This condition requires referral to neurosurgeons.
Whiplash can be described as a head movement that causes your head to move violently in one direction or the other.
This is most common after an injury or accident, such as a car accident. The unnatural stretching in the tissues that keep your neck’s bones in place is what causes the pain. Whiplash is often felt as a stiffening or pain in the neck for a period of 24-48 hours.
Most whiplash will resolve within a few weeks or days. Your neck should remain mobile and you can go about your day. You can use painkillers like paracetamol. You also have the option to try physiotherapy and gentle exercises to prevent chronic problems. Soft collars that stop your neck moving can slow down your recovery. If you have persistent pain, you might be referred to specialist support and treatment.
Your chiropractor will help you get rid of any kinks.
Your chiropractor will straighten your body and remove any kinks to help you live painfree. Numerous conditions and injuries have been shown to benefit from chiropractic care. Visit your nearest chiropractor if you are suffering from chronic pain.
The range of symptoms that can cause neck pain
The pain in the neck may be acute and localized in one location, or it may spread out over a wider area. Sometimes the pain radiates up to the head and can accompany a headache. Sometimes it may be accompanied with muscle spasms around the neck, upper back or shoulder blades. Shock-like pain or tingling can sometimes radiate down into the arm and/or shoulder.
Neck pain can be anything from mild to severe, which is easy to ignore, to severe and interfering in daily activities like dressing, concentration, sleep, or even sleeping. Sometimes, neck pain can cause stiffness and restricted motion.
Neck injuries can cause stiffness, pain in the shoulders or arms, headaches, facial discomfort, dizziness, and stiffness. Motor vehicle injuries can cause pain by tears in muscles, or injuries to the joints between the vertebrae. Another cause of pain is ligament rupture or disc damage. These injuries can be treated with pain medication, reducing physical activity, and physical therapy.
All physiotherapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors have been trained to treat neck issues. A combination of home exercises and treatment by one these therapists is often enough to treat neck problems. They may suggest strengthening and general stretching for the neck.
Manipulation is a technique that allows you to manipulate parts of your body to alleviate stiffness. Although it can be uncomfortable at times, it’s essential to understand the process. Discuss your situation with your therapist. This will help them make an informed decision about which types of treatment you might benefit from.
A TENS device is a battery-powered machine that may reduce pain. The pads are placed on the area that is painful and low-voltage electrical stimulation creates a pleasant tingling sensation. This could interfere with the pain signals sent from the brain’s nerves. Although you can purchase TENS machines at pharmacies, your physiotherapist might be able allow you to borrow one for testing.
Not often is surgery indicated
Only rarely is surgery necessary. Surgery may be needed if the nerves or spinal cord are being compressed. Before discussing with you the pros and cons and deciding whether or not to proceed with surgery, the surgeon will request a scan of the nerves and bones.
Strong drugs are best avoided
If the above-mentioned painkillers don’t work, you might be prescribed amitriptyline. This drug is also used to treat depression, although it can be taken in lower doses to help with sleep and relax muscles.
Pregabalin, gabapentin, and pregabalin shouldn’t be used for normal neck pain. If a pinched or irritated nerve is causing you pain, these drugs can be used to reduce the discomfort. You may need to test the drug for three to eight weeks depending on which one you are taking. Side-effects are possible with any drug. They may not suit everyone. Talk to your doctor about this.
Home Remedies and Time
A few days of rest and simple self-help remedies can often be enough to relieve neck pain. Because poor posture and age-related wear are both major factors in neck pain. Keep your head up and over your spine to prevent neck pain.
Your posture is key to relieving neck pain.
Standing straight, or sitting down, with your shoulders in front of your hips. Your computer monitor should be at eye level. Take frequent breaks.
Use over-the counter pain relievers like Motrin IB, Advil, and Tylenol.
Use heat or ice to treat the pain. You can use ice for the initial 48 to 72 hours. After that, heat is used.
Warm showers, hot compresses and a heating pad can be used to apply heat. Avoid putting an ice or heating pad on your skin.
You can reduce pain by applying heat to your neck. A hot-water bottle, a microwavable Wheat bag or a reusable heatpad can be used to reduce pain. They are available at chemists as well as sports shops. It can also help to have an ice pack and a bag with frozen peas.
Heat or ice packs should be wrapped in a towel. Avoid burning your skin by putting them directly on your neck. For soothing the muscles, it might be worth applying a heat pack to your neck prior to and after exercise.
The first few days, reduce physical activity. This helps to reduce inflammation and calm symptoms.
Slow range exercises of motion, such as up and/or down, sideways, sideways, and ear to ear, are all good. This helps to gently stretch neck muscles.
Your partner can gently massage sore or painful areas.
A firm mattress is best for your neck. Consider getting a neck pillow.
Non-steroidal non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as Ibuprofen can also be helpful. These drugs can be used for a short time (5-10 days), but they won’t work if they don’t help within that time. Try another short course if you feel the pain returning after stopping taking the tablets. You can also apply creams or anti-inflammatory gels to sore areas.
Stress can make neck pain worse. You can reduce stress by learning how to relax the neck muscles. Strive for balance between exercise and relaxation.
Massage your neck muscles gently with aromatic oils can often help. It is best to consult a healthcare professional before using these oils. Precautions should be taken if you are pregnant and have an epilepsy-related condition.
The creams and ointments may also be used to rub the area. This can help with pain relief and warmth. Capsaicin can be found in many over-the counter ointments. Capsaicin, an extract from pepper plants, can be used for pain relief. You can also get a stronger form of the same preparation by prescription.
When sitting, your feet must be flat on the ground. Your knees and hips should also be slightly lower than your hips. If you feel that you would be more comfortable, you might consider a shoerest.
Correctly adjusted chairs will provide good support for your lower spine. For better posture, hardback, upright or straight-backed chairs, as well as rocking chairs, are better than soft, low-backed sofas or upholstered ones. Your posture can be improved by using back supports whether you’re sitting at work, home, or at the wheel. You can correct your posture by placing the paper or book on a reading table.
You need to make sure the computer screen and your desk are not too low. It is also important that you don’t tilt your head forward for prolonged periods. This can cause muscle pain and strain your neck. Make sure that your keyboard is in the right place relative to the screen. Stretching and walking around regularly will help reduce tension and alleviate aches and pains.
A short rest may be helpful to relieve the discomfort and pain. However, to avoid weakening of your neck muscles and stiffening joints, rest as little as possible. Gentle stretches and neck movements should be started as soon as possible. This will allow the muscles and ligaments of your neck to relax, and help ease stiffness. You might consider consulting a physiotherapist for advice about the best exercises you can do for your specific condition.
Some discomfort following or during exercise is normal. However, if you find that exercise is making your symptoms worse, it’s best to stop.
It’s equally important to find exercise that you enjoy, and to continue doing it. Swimming, walking, and taking classes like yoga and Pilates can all be beneficial to your overall health and fitness.
Also, your neck muscles will be able to rest better if you are sleeping on your side, back, or stomach.
Too firm or too thick pillows can cause neck pain. It may help to change the position or number of pillows. Support your head and neck with pillows so your head is parallel to your body. Your pillow should fill the natural space between your neck and shoulders. A soft, moulded pillow or a roll within your pillow case may be helpful.
Your neck pain can worsen if your mattress is not providing enough support for your back. It’s worth replacing if your mattress is worn out or uncomfortably.
Smoking and weight
Smoking should be stopped. Smoking can cause damage to the spine’s architecture and slow down healing. Patients who are overweight should lose weight. Smoking and obesity both have a negative impact upon the outcome of spinal-fusion surgery.
Although most muscles can relax completely when not in use, some muscles still need to be active to keep your body upright. If your head falls forward while you’re standing or sitting, the muscles to your back must always be working. If you feel stressed, anxious or worried, you tend to tighten your muscles more. This can cause tension headaches and neck pain. Tension headaches can be very common, and sometimes misunderstoodly called migraines.
Most people find it beneficial to return to work sooner than expected. People used to be advised to stay in bed for a while, but now we know that this does more harm than good. It is better to keep moving, even though you may need painkillers.
Do not wait to get rid of your neck problem. Many times, the longer you are away from work the more likely your neck problem will be.
Yoga, Pilates, as well as other classes like them are great for keeping fit and improving your wellbeing.
The most amazing neck
The neck (or cervical spine) is a connected network of nerves. It serves the vital function of supporting the head and mobility, but it can sometimes become painful.
The cervical spine begins at base of skull and is made up of seven segments known as C1 through 7. It connects to C7-T1 in the chest region.