The neck supports the head weight and is made of vertebrae which extend from the skull down to upper torso. It has cervical disks that work in absorbing shock between bones. It is the muscles, ligaments and bones that support the head allowing motion. In the presence of any abnormalities, the neck is left vulnerable to conditions and injuries that restrict motion and cause pain as well as stiffness. Even though in most cases neck pain is never a serious condition and will go away after a few days, severe pain can be an indication of a serious illness or injury and medical care is advised. There are a number of factors that can lead to neck pain and they include the following:
Worn joints – Neck has joints that wear down as you age just like the rest of the body joints. Osteoarthritis can lead to deterioration of cartilage between bones resulting into bone spurs formation of the body affecting joint motion and causing pain in the process.
Nerve compression – Nerve compression is another cause of neck pain. It occurs when the herniated disks in the neck vertebrae press on nerves that branch out from your spinal cord thus leading to the pain.
Muscle strain and tension – The strains and tension can be as a result of neck jerking during exercises, bad sleeping position, poor posture and working long hours at a desk in one position.
Diseases – Certain diseases can also lead to neck pain, including osteoporosis, arthritis and fibromyalgia as well as meningitis. In these cases you would need to get proper treatment for the underlying condition to get neck pain relief.
Injury – Car accidents, sports and falls are some of the things that expose the neck to injury. The ligaments and muscles are forced forward or backward beyond normal range causing damages like fractures and dislocations that can also damage the spine.
Curing neck pain
Moderate and mild neck pain respond pretty well to self-care and should be gone in a few days or weeks. Persistent neck pain, however might require that you see a doctor for treatment options that is suitable depending on the diagnosis.
Medication – Strong pain medicine can be prescribed by your doctor to get rid of the pain. You might also get tricyclic antidepressants to relieve pain and muscle relaxants. NECK PAIN RELIEVERS
Therapy – Physical therapy works in curing neck pain. A therapist will take you through correct alignment, posture and exercises that strengthen the neck. Ice, heat and electrical stimulation are some of the approaches that can be used to ease the pain and to prevent recurrence. Traction is the other option under therapy and it uses pulleys, air bladder or weights to stretch the neck. It is a great option for nerve root irritation. The other options are the use of a soft collar to support the neck and relieve the pain. It works by taking the pressure off neck structures, but it should be used for a given period of time. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is the last therapy option. It uses electrodes near the painful areas for tiny electrical impulses to be delivered and relieve the pain.