Neck Pain Can Range from Minor to Debilitating
Nobody likes discomfort. However, sometimes it comes in the form of neck pain. This pain makes it very difficult to handle daily tasks. Various factors can cause the most common form of this painful disorder. Routine activities can put extra strain on the muscles and ligaments in the neck, causing them to become irritated and inflamed. This inflammation then leads to the tell-tale symptoms of neck pain, including stiffness, limited range of motion, and sometimes headaches. If the neck pain occurs regularly, it may be time to consult with a doctor or physical therapist. They can help to create a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to the patient’s needs. With the proper care, it is possible to start to experience relief from neck pain and get back to enjoying life again.
Causes of Neck Pain
Neck pain can come from a variety of causes. Some of them include:
- Awkward Sleeping Positions - While sleeping, it is essential to be mindful of the body position and pillow. If chosen incorrectly, they can cause neck stiffness and soreness, which become evident in the morning. For people who prefer to sleep on their stomachs, this could contribute to neck pain. Sleeping this way for hours without turning can cause a twisted neck. Also using a pillow that doesn’t support the neck properly can create tension in the neck muscles.
- Stress - When facing anxiety and stressful situations, the body responds by contracting muscles. This reflex reaction occurs involuntarily and can lead to muscle tension if the stressful situation persists.
- Neck Injury. The neck is susceptible to injuries because it supports the head. Events such as automobile accidents involving whiplash can result in neck injuries.
- Bad Posture. While using a computer for too long, the neck muscles strain. This is because hunching over is an unnatural body position. Holding the phone over the shoulder can also strain the neck muscles.
Neck Pain Prevention
There’s several things that can be done to try to keep neck pain to a minimum. Some of them include:
- Good Sleep Practices - Sleeping on the back helps to keep the spine in a natural position. A thinner pillow is helpful when sleeping on the back. When sleeping, the head should be raised slightly to avoid straining the neck. Sleeping on the side also keeps the head neutral. In this case, it is vital to use a thicker pillow to maintain the head position. A feather pillow also helps because it easily conforms to the head’s shape.
- Exercise - Practicing yoga or meditation can help to prevent neck pain in a few ways. First, both of these activities help to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the neck. This can help to prevent pain by keeping the muscles toned and flexible. In addition, yoga and meditation can help to reduce stress.
- Ergonomic Adjustments - Changing the computer monitor to ensure it is at eye level helps reduce neck muscle strain. Practicing typing without looking at the keyboard eliminates the need to bend the neck. For those who talk on the phone while working, using a headpiece or putting it on speaker helps.
Neck Pain Treatment
Neck pain should naturally go away within a few days. However, there are times when there is a need to see a specialist. Persistent neck pain needs medical attention. A doctor specializing in musculoskeletal conditions would offer great assistance in case of debilitating neck pain. If someone experiences shooting pain, numbness, or weakness, they should seek medical help. There are however some remedies for minor neck pain. These include:
- Taking over-the-counter medications. These pain relievers will help ease the discomfort while the neck heals naturally.
- Applying heat or ice to the affected areas to help relax the muscles.
- Gently massaging the painful areas to ease the tension.
- Taking a hot bath to relax the tight muscles.
- Resting from participating in physically involving activities like contact sports.
- Doing gentle stretches or exercises to stretch the muscles.
Neck pain is treatable, but the best approach would be to prevent it. Through careful adherence to the preventive measures, one can avoid the discomfort it brings.
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