Everything you need to know about Neck Pain
You may not know? Every month, millions of people search for “neck pain treatment” on GOOGLE. Increasingly, it turned out to be a common ailment that people experience, and the main reason why they seek medical treatment. There are several factors from poor posture to strained neck muscles that can cause neck pain. Here’s everything you need to know about “neck pain.”
What Is Neck Pain?
Your neck, also called the cervical spine is composed of nerves, discs, bones, and muscles. Besides providing support, it allows your head to move freely. The discs in the cervical spine serve as shock absorbers between the vertebral bones. Any factor that interferes with the functions of these elements such as ruptured discs, strained muscles, inflammation or trauma leads to neck pain or stiffness.
In most cases, neck pain will subside within a few days or weeks, but if it persists for longer than a month, it might be an indication of a more serious underlying health condition that requires the immediate attention of a spine specialist. It is sometimes crucial to get medical treatment early in order to achieve better results.
Based on the duration of the pain, neck pain can be classified into three types:
- Acute Neck Pain – Pain that lasts less than four weeks.
- Subacute Neck Pain – Pain that lasts up to twelve weeks.
- Chronic Neck Pain – Pain lasting more than 3 months.
Neck Pain Symptoms
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have neck pain.
- Axial pain is confined to the cervical region, and it may radiate to your shoulders occasionally.
- Neck stiffness
- Localized sharp pain that is enclosed in one spot and feels like a stabbing or stinging sensation.
- A general soreness around the neck area.
- Muscle spasms
- A limited range of motion for your head
- Having a headache
- Cervical radiculopathy
In addition to the above symptoms, you may also experience pins and needles sensation, weakness in your leg, and problems with balance. If neck pain becomes chronic, it may interfere with your normal activities, such as working at your computer, driving and even sleeping becomes difficult.
Causes Of Neck Pain
Neck pain and restricted movement are commonly caused by conditions that place strain on your neck as it holds your head. Most of the time, neck pain does not cause any serious problems and disappears within a few days. However, in some instances, it can become serious. The following are the most common causes of neck pain.
Muscle strains and ligament tears in the neck are commonly caused by overuse or overextension, from:
- A bad posture
- Awkward sleeping position
- Repeated movements
- Jerking motions
- Injuries or trauma
Additionally, bone spurs or herniated disks can compress nearby nerves, causing neck pain.
Degeneration of the spine caused by wear and tear conditions can also cause neck pain. It is often called cervical spondylosis. The following are few other cervical conditions:
- Degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine
- Osteoarthritis of the cervical spine
- Herniated cervical discs
Neck pain is caused by a variety of underlying causes, including:
- Spinal stenosis
- Fibromyalgia (musculoskeletal pain)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Emotional stress or anxiety
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Tumors in the spinal column
Neck Pain Treatment
Conventional methods can be used to treat the majority of neck pain conditions with the help of a spine specialist. The main aim of neck pain treatment is to address the underlying causes of neck pain.
Medication – Over-the-counter (OTC) medications like NSAIDs are first tried as a pain reliever for neck pain. Do not take any medications unless prescribed by a physician.
Physical therapy – It is provided by a qualified physical therapist. He suggests you some tips and techniques to maintain good posture and the exercises he recommends strengthen your neck muscles.
Heat And Cold Therapy – This therapy involves applying ice or heat packs to reduce inflammation.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – uses electrodes to deliver small electrical pulses near painful areas to reduce pain.
Traction – A technique that involves using weights or pulleys to stretch your muscles and vertebrae to relieve pain.
Immobilization – Using a collar or neck brace to support the neck may provide relief from pressure and reduce pain.
Alternative Neck Pain Treatments
There is less scientific evidence for the following alternative treatments, but many people have reported positive results using them to treat neck pain.
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic treatment
Surgery & Other treatments for neck pain
Steroid Injections: Injections like a “cervical epidural steroid injection” and “trigger point injection” for some people provide pain relief.
Radiofrequency Ablation(RFA) can also be used for treating certain conditions that cause neck pain.
Surgery – Surgery is recommended rarely unless the condition is severe, such as a pinched or squeezed nerve, damaged disc or cervical spine stabilizing. Spine surgeons prefer to perform surgery only when a specific reason is identified.
Surgical procedures include ACDF ( anterior cervical discectomy and fusion), Laminoplasty and, artificial cervical disc replacements etc.
Our surgeons at Premier Hospital are renowned spine surgeons in Hyderabad. Whenever you experience pain neck that lasts longer than a week or is accompanied by other signs or symptoms, seek medical help immediately. Our spine specialists have decades of experience in managing various spine problems. To know more about treatment options call 040-23515100 / +91-83747 18100 to book an appointment.
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Santosh Kumar Paila