If you experience neck pain, you’re not alone. It is a painfully common experience for many people.
Neck pain particularly afflicts those who work in offices doing 9-to-5 jobs. Sitting in an office chair hunched over a computer monitor for hours at a time can do a real number on your neck!
As a sidenote, you should definitely consult with a medical professional if your neck pain occurs alongside numbness or loss of strength in your hands or arms. Or if you feel a shooting pain radiating down your shoulder and arm. These might be symptoms of a more severe issue that requires immediate medical attention.
What are the causes of neck pain?
As you might suspect, there are innumerable causes. Let’s take a look at a few.
When your muscles are overused you may trigger a chronic pain in your neck.
As we age our joints, and, in fact, all of our body parts, become a bit worn and susceptible to nagging pains.
Perhaps you have a herniation in your neck vertebrae- this can lead to a particularly severe instance of neck pain.
You might have injured your neck in a car accident. If you were rear-ended by another driver, for instance, you may be suffering from whiplash. This is a common cause of injury-related neck pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, swollen lymph nodes and meningitis are different disorders that can cause neck pain.
How is neck pain diagnosed?
Frequently medical professionals resort to imaging tests to determine the origin of your neck pain. Common imaging tests include x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
In the event that imaging tests cannot detect the cause of your chronic pain, sometimes lab tests are utilized to provide additional information.
Lab tests can include blood tests and spinal taps. Blood tests are useful to demonstrate the existence of a disease that might be producing the pain that you are feeling. Spinal taps are useful for determining whether you are suffering from meningitis, for which neck pain is a predominant side effect.
Home treatment of neck pain
A common home remedy for neck pain is heat and ice packs. Wrapping a heating pad around your neck, used judiciously and carefully, usually for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, can provide you some temporary relief.
Icing the neck with either a store bought medical ice pack, or just a Ziploc baggie full of your freezer’s ice cubes, can be an effective way of gaining some temporary relief, as well.
It may also be worth looking into using a tens unit. These devices transmit electrical pulses that can interrupt the transmission of pain signals. These units don’t work for everybody, but many people have experienced significant relief using them. They might be worth a try.
Try some light stretching exercises. Perhaps your range of motion is limited, so experiment with stretching exercises that do not aggravate your pain.
Listen to your body: do not stretch or do anything that you feel is worsening your condition.
Try these neck stretches
Other commonsense recommendations
If you’re not in crippling pain, it can be comforting to get back into the swing of things. If you’ve been laid up for a couple of days, try to resume normal activities.
Take note of the situations that trigger neck pain. Try to anticipate these occasions and find creative workarounds.
Take some time out of the day to massage the area that hurts.
Purchase a [easyazon_link keywords=”pain relief cream” locale=”US” tag=”chronic0e-20″]pain relief cream[/easyazon_link]. There is a variety of over the counter options that are effective in topically reducing the experience of pain.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you are reading this article, it may be a bit too late, you might think. But prevention really is the best way of dealing with the occurrence of neck pain, especially if you want to avoid it becoming a chronic condition. Of the best things that you can do for yourself, is to take care of your body.
Treat yourself to a massage. Schedule these as biweekly interventions.
Purchase a [easyazon_link keywords=”seat cushion” locale=”US” tag=”chronic0e-20″]seat cushion for your home or office chair[/easyazon_link]. This can help to enhance your posture while sitting, which can also help to promote corrects neck alignment.
Consider taking up yoga or pilates. These exercise modalities are integrative physical solutions that can help your body become resilient to injury.
Consult with a chiropractor.
Take up meditation. It might be that stress is causing you to experience neck pain. You might not be aware of the dramatic effect your emotional state has on your physical body, but the mind-body connection is a real thing. With relaxation and calmness might come the cure to your chronic pain condition.
Investigate the root causes of the stressors in your life. If work, or finances, or perhaps family difficulties are contributing to a negative emotional state, you might want to consider consulting with a psychologist or another professional mediator that can help you to resolve these difficulties.
With all of that said, it is best to use a holistic approach to treating your neck pain. Perhaps you just have a nagging creek in your neck and you just need an occasional massage to remedy it. Or you might have a more severe neck pain that requires medical intervention.
Whatever the cause, consider the ideas and solutions that we proposed in this article. It is always best to take a holistic view of the problem and to consider all treatment options before making any decisions.