Neck pain is one of the most common disorders affecting people of all age groups. It is usually caused due to constant strain on the neck muscles while performing everyday activities like sitting, driving, slouching, bending over the computer, etc. These activities, when performed on a daily basis over the years, result in the back muscles stretching out, and the front muscles of our body becoming short and tight, which in turn weaken the neck muscles, resulting in neck pain.
Common Causes Of Neck Pain
- Activities that induce strain in neck Neck injury e.g. whiplash from a car accident.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cervical spinal stenosis
- Infection in the neck
- Sprained muscles from overstretching
Neck Pain Symptoms
- Severe pain accompanied by stiffness in the neck
- Pain radiating into either arm – this is caused when the neck muscles apply pressure on the spine. This could also be accompanied with tingling and weakness.
- Pain radiating to the shoulders, upper back, and arms.
- Difficulty in moving neck and performing everyday activities
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Swishing sounds in the head
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Depression and anxiety often accompany neck pain.
Treatment – It is advised to visit your nearest Orthopedic specializing in Neck Pain and seek consultation for your condition. Based on your condition, your doctor may advise the following:
- Acute neck pain can be treated by heat therapy using a heating pad alternated with a warm shower.
- OTC anti-inflammatory drugs can provide some relief.
- In the case of chronic neck pain and conditions like spasm and arthritis, stronger medicines might be prescribed.
- Those with chronic neck pain might require antidepressants and counseling.
- Light exercises and range of motion movements can help to improve the strength and flexibility of the neck muscles. It is advisable to perform these exercises under an expert.
- In some cases, wearing a cervical collar can provide relief from neck pain. However, such a collar should be worn only after consulting an orthopedic.
- In certain cases, surgery might be suggested by orthopedic surgeons/ doctors.
- Lifestyle modifications such as improved posture, correct sleeping position, changing pillow, regular neck exercise, etc. can go a long way in preventing neck pain.