Bad posture can cause misalignment of our neck, head and spine. Head and neck region is vulnerable to many different stresses. Neck pain can occur anywhere in your neck, from the bottom of your head to the top of your shoulders. It can spread to your upper back or arms. It may limit how much you can move your head and neck. Neck pain is common, especially in people older than 50. Neck pain is a very common condition and is more frequently seen in women than men. It can range from very mild discomfort to severe, burning pain.
Neck pain can be caused by too much pillowing or not enough. Without the right amount of pillowing it is easy to strain your neck during sleep times. In this position, the head is lower than the neck, which can cause strain. Experiment with pillows to find a neutral position for your neck -- one in which you do not experience neck pain or strain.
Neck pain may begin in any of the structures in the neck. These include muscles and nerves as well as spinal vertebrae and the cushioning disks in between. Neck pain may also come from regions near the neck, like the shoulder, jaw, head, and upper arms.
For minor, common home Care for neck pain:
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Apply heat or ice to the painful area. One good method is to use ice for the first 48 - 72 hours, then use heat after that. Heat may be applied with hot showers, hot compresses, or a heating pad. Be careful not to fall asleep with a heating pad on.
- Perform slow range-of-motion exercises up and down, side-to-side, and from ear-to-ear - to gently stretch the neck muscles.
- Have a partner gently massage the sore or painful areas.
- Try sleeping on a firm mattress without a pillow or with a special neck pillow.
When to Contact a Medical Professional ?
- Symptoms do not go away in 1 week with self care
- You have numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or hand
- Your neck pain was caused by a fall, blow, or injury -- if you cannot move your arm or hand
- You have swollen glands or a lump in your neck
- Your pain does not go away with regular doses of over-the-counter pain medication
- You have difficulty swallowing or breathing along with the neck pain
Symptoms Of Neck Pain
Neck pain can also be caused by an injury. A fall from a ladder or WHIPLASH from a car accident can cause neck pain. Most neck pain is caused by activities that strain the neck. Slouching, painting a ceiling, or sleeping with your neck twisted are some things that can cause neck pain. These kinds of activities can lead to neck strain, a spasm of the neck muscles, or swelling of the neck joints. Another cause of neck pain is poor lifting technique. Prolonged use of a computer keyboard.
Diagnosis of Neck Pain
Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms of neck pain and do a physical examination that includes : -
- Testing the movement of the neck.
- Testing for trapped nerves.
- Examination of the muscles.
- Examination of the movement of the joints of the spine, neck and hands.
- X-rays of the neck
- CT scan of the neck or head
- Blood tests such as a complete blood count or a thyroid test
- A spinal tap for a cerebrospinal fluid analysis if meningitis is suspected
- Occasionally, an MRI of the neck
Treatment of Neck Pain
- To control pain, inflammation, muscle spasm and sleep disturbance medicines are commonly used for neck pain.
- Some pain medicine are highly addictive.
In the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, invertebral discs separate each vertebra. These discs, which absorb shock, consist of semi-fluid matter (nucleus pulposus) that is surrounded by a capsule of elastic fibers (annulus fibrosus) containing nerve endings. The vertebrae and the invertebral discs that separate each segment are designed to permit flexible support of the body and to protect the spinal cord and nerve roots from injury.
Invertebral discs have a minimal blood supply, which means they are not supplied with healing nutrients and oxygen and do not heal once they are damaged. Damage to the discs, either through traumatic injury or as a result of normal aging, causes the spine to weaken, leads to degenerative disc disease, and may result in pain.
Surgical Treatment of Neck Pain
When the part of the disc or a bone spur is pressing on a nerve as it leaves the vertebra (through an exit called the foramen), a foraminotomy may be done. Otomy means "to make an opening." So a foraminotomy is making the opening of the foramen larger, so the nerve can exit without being compressed. Read More…
We have a bony plate at the back of each vertebra that protects our spinal canal and spinal cord it is called as lamina. Surgeon removes all or a part of the lamina to make more room. Read More…
Anterior Cervical Discectomy Surgery
When a person is having a bulging disc or a herniated disc, it may be pressing on his nerves. In a discectomy, the surgeon will remove all or part of the disc. Read More…
Total Disc Replacement
Total disc replacement (TDR) may be a solution for some people with degenerative disc disease as an alternative to spinal fusion. During disc replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the damaged disc and replaces it with an artificial disc. Read More…
"Corpus" means body and "ectomy" means remove. Another method for relieving pressure on the spinal cord that may be causing spinal stenosis or cervical myelopathy is to remove the front of the spinal canal. This means that the large part of several of the vertebrae must be removed — the vertebral bodies and the discs between. This procedure is called a corpectomy. Read More…
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