A lot of people, at some point of time in their lives, experience pain or stiffness in their neck. This may extend from the neck to the upper arm sometimes.
Any kind of abnormalities, inflammation, or injury can cause this pain. Neck pain may sometimes also occur due to lifestyle problems. A lot of times, neck pain is not considered a severe problem and can be cured over time. However, in some cases, neck pain may indicate serious injury or illness and may require a doctor’s care.
Neck pain can happen for a variety of reasons:
It usually occurs due to activities and behaviors such as:
- poor posture
- Sitting and working for too long without changing the position
- sleeping with your neck in an irregular position
- jerking your neck while exercising
Sometimes the neck pain can occur due to an accident, fall, or sports activity where the ligaments and muscles of the neck are forced to move outside of their normal range. Meningitis
Meningitis is defined as an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Fever often accompanies meningitis, and a headache usually occurs with a stiffness in the neck. It can be fatal and is a medical emergency.
Other causes include
- Rheumatoid arthritis causing pain and swelling of the joints.
- Osteoporosis weakens bones and can sometimes lead to small fractures.
- Fibromyalgia causes muscle pain throughout the body, especially in the neck.
- As we age, the cervical discs can degenerate. It is known as spondylitis or osteoarthritis of the neck.
- When a disk protrudes because of a trauma or injury, it may increase the pressure on the spinal cord. It is called a herniated cervical disc, also known as a slipped disc.
- Spinal stenosis is when the spinal column narrows and causes pressure on the spinal cord that causes the pain.
- congenital abnormalities
- cancer of the spine
Signs and symptoms of neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck.
- Acute pain.
- A general feeling of soreness.
- Radicular pain.
- The trouble with gripping or lifting objects.
- Muscle tightness or spasm
- Decreased ability to move the head
- Severe headache
If the neck pain does not improve after a few days or weeks, some medical treatment or guidance is needed to alleviate symptoms. An accurate medical diagnosis for the treatment of neck pain can help set up an effective treatment plan. Medical History
A thorough medical history is the first step in diagnosing the specific causes of neck pain.
- Current symptoms. What is the duration of the pain? Is it recurring? Is the pain only in one spot, or does it travel to the shoulders, arms, or fingers?
- Occupation. What type of work does the person do? Is the day spent in manual labor or sitting in front of a computer?
- Lifestyle. Is the lifestyle of the person active or sedentary? For instance, do they indulge in hobbies such as moving around, gardening or swimming, or more sitting, such as watching TV or reading?
Neck pain is usually associated with poor posture combined with age-related wear and tear. To prevent neck pain, keep your head centered over your spine. Consider the following steps:
- Use good posture: When standing and sitting, one should always be sure that the shoulders are in a straight line over your hips, and the ears are directly over the shoulders.
- Take frequent breaks in between: If you travel long distances or work long hours sitting fixated to your table, get up, move around a bit, and stretch your neck and shoulders.
- Adjust your desk, chair, and desktop: Always make sure that the monitor is at eye level. Knees should be slightly lower than the hips. Use your chair's armrests.
- Avoid tucking the phone: While talking over the phone, try not to tuck it between your ear and shoulder when you speak. Use a headset or speakerphone instead.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can also put you at risk of developing neck pain.
- Avoid carrying heavy bags with straps over your shoulder: The weight can strain your neck.
- Sleep in a good position: The head and neck should always be aligned with the body. Try to use a small pillow under your neck.
Differentiating neck pain from other spine-related pain
Pain for a few days vs. pain for weeks
Neck strains and cervical spine disorders are all capable of causing neck pain that ranges from dull and mild to severe and debilitating.
Local vs. radiating pain
The location of the pain can also distinguish between a neck strain or a cervical spine condition.
Neck strain is felt on the site of the damaged soft tissues. Occasionally, the pain can stretch further up the neck or down to the top of the shoulders.
Pain from a cervical spine condition can potentially radiate down the arm and sometimes even to the hand. This pain occurs due to spinal nerve roots that are compressed or inflamed, such as from foraminal stenosis or a herniated disc.
Repeatable Neck Cracking
Most neck cracking and grinding sounds are entirely normal and do not indicate any particular problem. But if the specific neck movements always result in a cracking sound, that could mean bone on bone grinding and maybe more severe.
How to differentiate Neck pain from other causes of spine-related pain?
Neck pain can occur due to varied reasons such as injury, accidents, growing older ( Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease), and everyday life(poor posture, obesity, weak neck muscles).
Sometimes the neck pain can also occur due to neurologic deficit and may be an indication of something serious. Spinal infection, Spinal Cord Compression, Tumor, fracture, and other disorders can sometimes aggravate into a severe condition.
Best neck pain treatment in Udaipur
Shriram Spine Hospital is a leading center for neck pain treatment in Udaipur. It focuses on the extensive use of advanced technology to help patients lead a healthy, active life.
Shriram Spine hospital specializes in Scoliosis surgery, Kyphosis correction, degenerative spine surgery, and many other ailments related to the spine.
Shriram Spine hospital also follows non-surgical neck pain treatment that helps patients treat their neck pain with the help of physiotherapy and many other procedures.
Under the team of experienced and knowledgeable Shriram, Spine hospital offers the best neck pain treatment in Udaipur.
Frequently Asked Questions
I woke up with neck pain. What can I do?
- Gently stretch your neck.
- Take anti-pain medications.
- Alternate between heat and ice treatments on your neck to heal the pain
What are some of the non-surgical options for treating neck pain?
- Acupuncture, herbal remedies, massage, yoga, and Pilates
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
Is there anything that I can do to help prevent neck pain?
Below are some easy steps that you can take to help prevent neck pain:
- When working on your computer, place your computer monitor at eye level.
- Stretch regularly, especially if you are at your desk or traveling for long hours
- Try to sleep on your back rather than your stomach or side.
- Invest in a firm pillow that supports your head and neck
- Consider practicing yoga
- Remember the importance of good posture and avoid hunching your shoulders forward.
What will happen if I don't treat my neck pain?
Some episodes of neck pain may improve without professional treatment. However, some severe neck pain cases can lead to the development of other health problems if left untreated. Examples of some complications that may arise as a result of untreated neck pain include the following:
- Sleep interruptions
- Absenteeism at work due to pain