Although neck pain is a common occurrence, we should not neglect it if the pain is intolerable and if other symptoms exist.
The common causes of neck pain
* Muscle strain brought about by bad stance or posture. Do you remember the last time you woke up with pain on your neck? This is due to a bad sleeping position or inclining your head in the wrong way. You can also get your muscles strained when you put the phone between your ears and neck or slump when sitting on a chair for a long time.
* Accidents. Neck pain can arise after a car accident and whiplash. Your muscles, tissues and nerves can be damaged if your neck was forcibly pulled out unexpectedly because of a strong blow or crash. This can cause severe pains on your neck and headaches.
* Cervical disk troubles. As we get older, we get cervical disk problems that lead to neck pain. These disks are located in the center of the vertebral disk gaps. They are soft, gel-like matters that work as buffer between our disks. They thin out as we age prodding the protrusion of our disks and compress on the nerves close to them.
* Rheumatoid arthritis also gives way to neck pain, as it makes our neck joints to swell and become stiff.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Neck Pain
An x-ray of the neck must be performed to appropriately diagnose and recognize the real source of the pain. This procedure will show if the neck has fractured bones, joint displacements or any indications of arthritis. MRI is another procedure that can also confirm if there are compressed nerves in the neck and if the soft tissues were damaged.
As soon as the main cause of the pain was confirmed, the doctor will be able to give the correct treatment to the patient. The pain management treatment will vary depending on the cause and severity of the pain.
* Respite and restraint in movements. This is normally recommended for neck pain that was caused by muscle strain. The strained muscles need to be rested to help in the recuperation of the soft tissues. A neck collar may be suggested to hold the head up and to lessen any neck movements. The use of a neck collar will assists the ligaments to heal.
* Analgesics. If the pains are intolerable, analgesics may be prescribed. However, if the patient can tolerate the pain, they must be avoided, as they may not be safe to everyone. A cold compress can be applied instead. This is applied on the neck for about 15 – 20 minutes for quite a few times in one day to lessen the swelling and to alleviate distress. If the neck pain is chronic, higher dosage or stronger analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to ease the patient from the pain and to lessen the swelling of the muscles.
* Physical therapy. This is useful for strained muscles brought about by day-to-day activities. The muscles calm down when given a good massage. The neck muscles can likewise loosen up with cold or hot compress and yoga.
* Chiropractic care. Chiropractors perform chiropractic adjustments to relieve the patient of neck pain. The above treatments can help assuage the pain but if it is recurrent, chiropractic management is the best thing to seek. It is because chiropractic deals with the source of the pain not merely to manage the pain. By treating the source, neck pain is eliminated. Chiropractors may either perform cervical or spinal adjustments depending on the position and source of the pain.
* Surgery. This is normally performed for pains caused by cervical disk issues.
Neck pain can range from being negligible or severe. Proper identification of its cause will help in solving this illness.