About seven in ten people experience neck pain at some point in their life. But, not all neck pain is the same. Neck pain can occur from a strain in a variety of muscles, an underlying musculoskeletal condition, an old or recent injury, joint pain, headaches, cramping, inflamed or damaged nerves, or even referred pain originating from somewhere else in the body. The first step in neck pain relief is identifying the cause of neck pain.
While looking for solutions is a great proactive move in the right direction, your ideal pain management strategy can be very different from a person who has comparable but distinct neck complaints.
WHAT IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF NECK PAIN?
Neck pain should not be self-diagnosed. It is essential not to jump to conclusions based on past experiences or relevant contexts, such as an older neck injury that felt the same, recurring headaches, or a recent diagnosis of arthritis.
Common causes of neck pain are :
- Musculoskeletal issues (muscle cramping, muscle strains, muscle damage, bone damage)
- Joint or arthritic issues (bone spurs, facet joints, fractures, inflammation, unstable discs
- Nerve issues (inflamed or damaged nerves)
- Referred pain (from nerves further down along the spine, or a shoulder, head, or back muscle)
Certain risk factors exacerbate neck issues that already exist or increase the likelihood of neck pain. These include :
- Peripheral neuropathy (alcohol or diabetic neuropathy)
- Sedentary living
- Sudden weight gain
Posture also plays a significant role, for example, repeated movements can make your neck stiff and painful over time, leading to recurrent, even chronic, neck pain, especially if you turn your head frequently in just one direction while working.
A thorough examination is crucial because some conditions can mask the true cause of your pain. Visit Specialty Care Clinics for neck and spinal conditions or pain management. It is best not to seek an online diagnosis without consulting a physician.
You can alleviate and prevent neck pain with lifestyle changes and home remedies, but if it persists or gets worse, don’t ignore it.
HOME REMEDIES FOR NECK PAIN
Depending on the circumstances and conditions surrounding your pain, neck pain relief and remedies can be extremely beneficial or harmful.
Keep moving:– No matter what the cause of your neck pain is, moderate movement is usually recommended. A walk, especially outdoors, can promote recovery after an injury.
Heat therapy:– If your pain is manageable, keeping your neck warm with shawls, gentle exercise, and warming gels may help.
Gentle massage:– You may find temporary relief from gentle massage, but avoid anything that is too vigorous such as chiropractic treatment.
Posture:– Certain neck movements may increase your chances of developing pain or recurring pain especially if your job requires a lot of neck turning and twisting.
Improve neck strength:– After visiting a medical professional, consider consulting a physical therapist for advice on neck strengthening exercises. Many neck strengthening exercises can be done at home and can help prevent further injuries and speed up recovery.
YOU CAN MANAGE NECK PAIN BY CHANGING YOUR LIFESTYLE
Healthy diet:– Diabetes and obesity can contribute to or directly cause joint pain, neck discomfort, and back pain.
Quit smoking:– Smoking can raise the risk of developing neuropathy and its causes.
Drink less:– One of the main causes of nerve pain and injury is excessive alcohol consumption.
Stress Management:– Manage your stress, whether it is by working a few hours at work, finding a healthy coping strategy, or getting more rest.
More exercise and movement:– Exercise and more movement are often beneficial for back and neck pain.