Neck pain is a very common condition experienced very often by billions of people. Every 2 out of 3 individuals in the world experience mild to severe neck pain in their life. Neck pain, medically termed as Cervicalgia is an outcome of the discomfort in your body and interruptions in the structure of the neck. Neck pain in general is accompanied by stiffness of the neck. Neck pain is not a disease or disorder by itself, but is often a warning sign or symptom of other conditions. For instance, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, migraine, etc. However, in few cases, neck pain is caused to lifestyle, wrong posture and any injury. Here is your simple Neck pain guide!
Basics – neck pain guide
Understanding the Structure of the Neck and the Pain
Neck is an extension of skull made of vertebrae. Neck, its bones, muscles and ligaments support the head and enables movements of the head. Connected with the spine, the cervical disk manages and absorbs the movements between the bones. Even a simple misalignment or minor disruption in the cervical region may cause neck pain and stiffness.
Neck pain guide on causes of acute neck pain (not a serious condition):
Neck pain is not a serious condition to concern when the pain alleviates itself in a few days.
- Poor posture, straining the muscles
- Sitting before computer for hours adding more pressure to neck
- Using smart phones incessantly straining the neck muscles
- An injury – probably a jerk to the head forcing the neck to move forward or backwards abruptly. Happens more in case of car accidents and the pain lessens when the injury is healed
Neck pain guide when it is a serious concern
- When you experience the neck pain with or without stiffness accompanied by tingling effect or numbness narrowing down to your arm, it could be a serious condition.
- When neck movements hurt you and you feel a kind of discomfort or pain turning or bending your head.
- When you feel heaviness in your neck and shoulder
- When the neck pain doesn’t improve or recurrence pain in frequent intervals
Neck Pain Guide – A Symptom of Other Diseases
As mentioned earlier, neck pain is a condition accompanied by many diseases and disorders. Following are the health conditions where neck pain is a major symptom.
Damages to the bones and tissues of the cervical region causes moderate to severe neck pain. Tingling pain is extended from neck to arms and sometimes even to legs.
There will be an abnormal growth of cervical ribs in the shoulder, branching from the region below the neck. Due to nerve compression, the cervical ribs grow strangely narrowing down to the back, instead of joining with the shoulder bones. This condition causes severe neck pain.
A form of arthritis that affects the spinal cord. Spinal cord injury obviously causes severe neck pain.
Spine is a delicate part of the body. Bulging disk in the spine affects the bones and cartilages connected in the neck. It compresses the nerves spreading from spinal code to vertebrae. Spinal compression is also accompanied by extreme stiffness of the neck, knee pain, and ankle pain.
Also termed as Wry Neck, it is actually a twisted neck. The sprained muscles prohibit the movement of head. Lymph nodes, any infection in the ear and genetic factors may be the causes of Torticollis.
A strange chronic disorder has no apparent cause. The condition is characterized by unexplained pain in multiple areas in the body, and includes neck, hips, butt, head, etc.
Neck pain guide on preventing pain
There are many treatment options available to cure neck pain. With simple at home remedies, the pain can be reduced. Muscle relaxants, analgesics, and ant-inflammatory medications are prescribed to manage the pain.
The pain goes away when the stability and posture is improved. However, the pain may recur when the actual condition causing the pain is not addressed. Treating neck pain actually involves treating the hidden disease.
For damages to the cartilages and bones, the following treatments are prescribed.
Exercises: Neck exercises and muscle stretching will result with miraculous healing. It is essential to prevent the neck pain. These are very simple exercises that can be performed at your home.
Collar for short term immobilization: Many times, wearing the collar support helps preventing the neck movements, which fastens the healing. The belt or collar support removes the additional pressure on your neck. It can be worn for around a week or two to improve the pain.
Traction: It is one of the fastest treatments to relieve the neck pain. The neck muscles and tissues are stretched. It is the best way to treat the neck pain caused due to nerve compression.
Steroid injections: A popular treatment for spinal conditions, which improves the spine health and aids in managing the neck pain!
Heat and Cold Therapy: Application of ice packs and heat pads alternatively will reduce the inflammation and ease the pain.
Rest: Many times, having sufficient rest is the best medication to cure a majority of ailments. Keep your head elevated and get some rest.