The Best Way to Take Care of a Neck That’s Being a Pain in the Neck!
If you suffer from neck problems like tension, Stiffness or even pain it’s likely by now that you’ve also felt the heavy head, sluggishness and maybe even the headaches that go with it.
If you suffer from neck pain, you are not alone with 7 out of 10 people suffering from neck pain at some point.
Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching. Pain can sometimes worsen with movement of the neck or turning the head and can even feel like a sharp pain radiating into the head, causing a headache.
Other symptoms associated with some forms of neck pain include facial pain, shoulder pain, numbness or tingling in the lower arm, upper arm, hands and/or fingers. Problems with the neck can also cause discomfort between the shoulder blades and in some cases cause upper back and/or lower back pain.
What are the Possible Causes of Neck Pain?
The cause of neck pain varies but here are some possible causes:
- Injury and Accidents – The most common injury sustained during a car accident is Whiplash. Whiplash is the hyperextension and/or hyperflexion injury because of the sudden and forced movement of the head in forward and or backward direction beyond the neck’s normal range of motion. These forceful movement affects the muscles and ligament in the neck.
- Degenerative disorders- Osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease is known to affect the spine.
- Daily Activities – Poor posture, obesity and weak abdominal muscles can all disrupt the balance of the spine, which often causes the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can also cause muscles to tighten and contract and result in stiffness and pain.
Most neck pains are caused with poor posture combined with age-related wear and tear. Some simple adjustments in your daily routine may also help. Consider trying to focus on:
- Proper posture – When standing and sitting, make sure that your shoulders are in straight line over your hips and your ears are directly over your shoulders.
- Take frequent rest and breaks – get up, move around and stretch your neck and shoulders if you’re travelling long distances or working for long hours at your computer.
- Adjust your desk, chair, and computer so that the monitor is at eye level.
- Avoid carrying heavy bags on one shoulder. Unbalanced and too much weight on one side can strain your neck.
- Consider your sleeping position – Try using a small pillow under your neck. Sleeping on your back with your thighs elevated on a pillow will flatten your spinal muscles.
I woke up with neck pain. What should I do?
Our everyday life and daily activities can take its toll on our neck. You may have slept wrong, causing your neck muscles to tighten. You may do the following to relieve the pain in your neck:
- Stretch your neck gently.
- Take over-the-counter medications or use pain relief creams.
- Apply heat and ice packs alternately. 20 minutes of heat followed by 20 minutes of ice should help the pain and the healing process.
When should you see a doctor?
Most neck pain will improve gradually with home treatment. If not, you should see a doctor. Getting a proper diagnosis is highly recommended to determine the best course of treatment for your neck pains.
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