Neck Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More
The neck-or cervical spine-is a coordinated network of nerves, bones, joints, and muscles. It has the important job of providing support and mobility for the head, but sometimes it can become painful. Neck pain is common. Many people experience neck pain or stiffness occasionally. Neck pain is pain in or around the spine beneath your head, known as the cervical spine. You might have axial neck pain (felt mostly in the neck) or radicular neck pain (pain shoots into other areas such as the shoulders or arms). It is classified as acute if it lasts from 3 days to 6 weeks And if it lasts more than 3 months to several years then it is classified as chronic. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain. Neck pain can interfere with daily activities and reduce your quality of life if left untreated
Common Neck Pain Signs and Symptoms:
• Stiff neck
• Sharp pain
• General soreness
• Radicular pain
• Cervical radiculopathy
• Trouble with gripping or lifting objects
• Difficulty in swallowing
Common Acute Neck Pain Causes
Sleeping in an awkward position
working at a desk for too long without changing position
jerking your neck during exercise
Other causes of neck pain include the following:
Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling of the joints, and bone spurs. When these occur in the neck area, neck pain can result.
Osteoporosis weakens bones and can lead to small fractures. This condition often happens in hands or knees, but it can also occur in the neck.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes muscle pain throughout the body, especially in the neck and shoulder region.
As you age, the cervical discs can degenerate. This is known as Spondylosis, or osteoarthritis of the neck. This can narrow the space between the vertebrae. It also adds stress to your joints.
When a disc protrudes, as from a trauma or injury, it may add pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. This is called a herniated cervical disc, also known as a ruptured or slipped disc.
Spinal Stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows and causes pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots as it exits the vertebrae. This can be from long-term inflammation caused by arthritis or other conditions.
Most neck pain is associated with poor posture combined with age-related wear and tear. To help prevent neck pain, keep your head centered over your spine. Some simple changes in your daily routine may help. Consider trying to:
• Use good posture.
• Take frequent breaks.
• Adjust your desk, chair and computer
• Avoid carrying heavy bags with straps over your shoulder.
• Sleep in a healthy position.
• Stay active.
Most of the time, neck pain isn’t a serious condition and can be relieved within a few days. But in some cases, neck pain can indicate serious injury or illness and require a doctor’s care. If you have neck pain that continues for more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Manipulation of the cervical spine or neck region is a common technique utilized by doctors of chiropractic for many patients complaining of neck, upper back, and shoulder/arm pain, as well as headaches. Similar to the treatment for many conditions affecting the low back, chiropractic is considered as a first line of treatment for a range of cervical spine conditions.