Neck pain can be a nagging irritation that conflicts with your ability to focus mentally and perform physically. It can stem from a number of causes, and resolving it is the key in getting to the source of your neck pain.
What are Some Common Causes of Neck Pain?
There are many possible causes of neck pain, and irritation of the neck’s nervous pathways may also affect the head, hand, shoulder, and arm. Even the irritation of the spinal cord may cause pain in your lower body. Here are some common causes of neck pain:
The awkward sleeping position that places short-term pressure on muscles and nerves that causes a stiff neck.
Athletic injuries including falls, collisions, and other trauma occurring while the body is in motion at a rapid velocity.
Misalignment of posture caused by poor postural habits or physical overuse from works or sports. Poor postural on the upper body or along the kinetic chain can lead to neck pain.
Prolonged poor neck position from talking on the phone, texting, using a computer or other activities that put the head in a forward position.
Whiplashed caused by rapid deceleration or collision in a moving vehicle.
Herniated disc, is where a disc becomes compressed between two vertebrae.
Degenerative disc disease which is due to wear and tear over time.
Osteoarthritis is due to eroding cartilage and inflammation.
And spinal stenosis is where degeneration leads to a narrowing of the spinal canal.
Neck Pain’s Traditional Treatment Options
Some of the traditional treatment options for neck pain are:
Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
Cervical nerve root block injection to relieve pain
Muscle relaxants to relieve tension
Heat and/or ice therapy can reduce inflammation and ease the pain
Surgery to remove a disc that irritates a nerve root, decompresses the spinal cord or irritates a nerve root or stabilize the neck
Pain in the cervical spine or neck may be a symptom of more serious problems like a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or a pinched nerve. Cervical facet joints are a rare source of pain but most of the pain experienced in the cervical spine outside the disc disease is of myofascial character. Myofascial pain responds well to a variety of different manual therapies in combination with acupuncture, rehabilitative exercises, and extracorporeal shockwave therapy in the absence of perpetuating factors. Ergonomic workspace arrangement, postural exercises, gentle stretching, Pilates specific neck, and breathing exercises are a preventive treatment for reducing the risks of this type of pain. The neck pain treatment should address all functionally interrelate body segments such as rib cage, cervical spine, whole upper extremity, shoulder girdle, even skull, and TMJ. Sitting postures, prehension, lifting, breathing as well as ergonomic conditions must be examined and addressed. The handheld devices perpetuate abnormal movement stereotypes affecting the upper quarter that is why the use of handheld devices must be minimized for the time of symptom duration. In order to reduce the strain to the neck imposed by desk and computer work, patients should recommend taking short breaks with the performance of brief remedial postural exercises.