What is Neck Pain?
Neck pain in medical terms is also known as cervicalgia that everyone experiences once in their lifetime. Around two-thirds of the population complains of neck pain in the short or long term. Over 14% of Americans also have complaints of neck pain. Furthermore, neck pain is a type of pain that people experience in regions of the neck and upper back. Also, the neck is a collection of several structures that connect the head to the torse. During times of neck pain, a person experiences discomfort and pain in the neck and upper back.
Neck pain also affects the brainstem, brain, and cervical spinal cord and if it remains untreated it can also lead to alteration of the brainstem or brain nerve impulses. It further brings effects that can be dramatic and far-reaching. Neck pain also ranges from mild to severe and it can also stay for a long time in some individuals. Furthermore, neck pain is a symptom of several mild issues like stressing heavy medical issues like neck cancer. It is also important to know about this condition properly so that you can prevent and treat those underlying issues in time.
What are the Signs of Neck Pain?
Neck pain is a common issue that can affect many people at large and during neck pain, a person may show signs like:
- Muscle feels very tight around the neck
- Neck muscle spasms
- You’re unable to move your head
- Pain in the neck region gets worse at long work time
- Unable to keep head still and steady for a long time
- That region feels weak
- Tingling sensation in neck regions
- Neck soreness
- Sharp pain
- Radicular pain
- Difficulty to move the neck from a particular angle
- Experience pain if they try to turn their head from side to side
- Any activity can make the pain go worse
- Fever or chills
When to Seek Medical Help for Neck Pain?
In most cases, neck pain can also be a sign of several underlying issues. Furthermore, in rare cases, it can be a sign of serious issues like neck cancer. Also, it can be a sign that is associated with traumatic injury due to driving accidents or falls. Moreover, neck pain resolves on its own or with home remedies. But in some cases, it can be serious that you need to consult the doctor soon. So, here are some signs that you need to consult a doctor and get medical help for neck pain issue as follows:
- Muscle feels weak for a long time
- Shooting pain into the should or down an arm
- The issue does not resolve despite taking over-the-counter pain relief medicines
- Home remedies do not work on it
- Pain starts to spread down to your arm or legs
- There is long-term headache, weakness, tingling, and numbness in the neck region
- If the neck pain is severe or unbearable
- Pain does not get relief and it is persisting for several days unusually
- The pain starts to get worse over time
- If the symptoms remain for more than three months
- Starting to lose bladder control
- Burning and sharp pain exists for a long time even after taking medicines
- Stretching neck muscles is not helpful
- Neck pain leads to sleeping problems
Is there a link between Psychological Conditions and Neck Pain?
If a person exhibits a higher level of mental health problem, it gradually also start to show physical symptoms. A person experiences mild symptoms that include neck pain, and back pain at moderate to severe levels. Also, neck pain is a symptom of anxiety as this condition causes muscle tension that eventually causes pain in the neck regions.
Other mental illnesses like chronic stress, depression, and bipolar disorder can also lead to symptoms like neck pain and this psychogenic pain can be acute or chronic. Also, increasing levels of neck pain can occur due to worsening mental health. Additionally, stress causes conditions like headaches, mood swings, and fluctuations in weight that also include back and neck pain. But people tend to overlook neck and back pain as stress symptoms.
What are the Causes of Neck Pain?
Neck pain is a cause of several underlying physical and psychological conditions as follows:
- Head and neck cancer
- Retropharyngeal abscess
- Acute coronary syndrome
- Spinal disc herniation
- Physical and emotional stresses
- Spinal stenosis
- Poor posture for a long time
- Minor or major injuries like falls, or car accidents
- Pain from the back region spreading to the neck area
- Overuse of muscles
- Nerve pinches
- Poor sleep posture
- Using improper pillows and mattresses
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Head injury
- Congenital cervical rib
- Other cancer types
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Esophageal trauma
- Cervical spine fracture
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Thyroid trauma
- Tracheal trauma
- Muscle strains
- Warning out of joints with age
- Compression of nerves
- Disk hernia
- Bone spurs
- Rear-end auto collisions
- Obesity or overweight issues
How to treat Neck Pain with Home Remedies?
Neck pain can also be very challenging as it can affect your day-to-day life and make disrupt your physical other activities on daily basis. So, here are some home remedies and tips that you can carry out to prevent or treat neck pain as follows:
- Apply ice or heat packs
- Stretch to release and make your neck muscles less stiff
- Take over-the-counter pain relief medicines
- Avoid sudden movements that can cause whiplashes or jerks in the neck regions
- Massage your neck and upper arms
- Limit physical activities that require neck involvement for a while
- Sleep in a proper position
- Use proper and comfortable pillows and mattresses
- Maintain proper posture
- Avoid or quit smoking
- Reduce and avoid stress
- Cope up with your anxiety
- Practice yoga and meditation
- Take a break from work and rest well to recover and reduce stress
- Exercise regularly
- Be observant of how long you sit as it can lead you to a stiff neck
- Develop an ergonomic workplace
- Use mobile phone and computer screen at proper neck angle
- Hold your phone at eye level
- Take a short break if you start to notice neck pain
- Avoid driving for a long time without taking breaks
- Take sufficient sleep and rest
- Apply Lavender oil with acupressure
- Consume or apply ginger and its oil
- Use turmeric, camphor, devil’s claw
- Use a soft neck collar
- Do not sleep on your empty stomach
- If neck pain persists even after you try home remedies then you should go and treat your condition to the doctor.
What are the Medical Treatment Methods for Neck Pain?
Mostly, pain relieving medicines are given for neck pain that may come under the generic or prescription category that includes:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Naproxen sodium
Steroid injections that contain drugs like lidocaine for numbing pain
Other methods to treat neck pain includes:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Cervical epidural steroid injection
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
- Trigger point injection
Neck pain in medical terms is also known as cervicalgia that everyone experiences once in their lifetime. Furthermore, neck pain is a type of pain that people experience in regions of the neck and upper back. Also, the neck is a collection of several structures that connect the head to the torse. Neck pain also affects the brainstem, brain, and cervical spinal cord and if it remains untreated it can also lead to alteration of the brainstem or brain nerve impulses. It further brings effects that can be dramatic and far-reaching.
Neck pain also ranges from mild to severe and it can also stay for a long time in some individuals. In most cases, neck pain can also be a sign of several underlying issues. Furthermore, in rare cases, it can be a sign of serious issues like neck cancer. Neck pain is a cause of several underlying physical and psychological conditions. Neck pain can also be very challenging as it can affect your day-to-day life and make disrupt your physical other activities on daily basis. So, there are some home remedies and medical treatments for neck pain available as well.
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