There is no doubt that neck pain is a troublesome condition. The discomfort it brings is often distracting and, sometimes, worrying. When you experience neck pain, you should have it treated right away. In this article, learn the different neck pain causes and remedies.
What is Neck Pain?
Before we discuss the neck pain causes and remedies, let us first have a bit of an overview. Neck pain is a fairly common condition. Doctors said that at least 7 out of 10 people will experience this condition at some point in their lives. In most cases, poor posture is the cause, especially for those who often work hunched over their computers or desks. The good news is that neck pain is rarely a symptom of a serious underlying health issue. However, there are still things to watch out for. It is best to understand neck pain causes and remedies.
What Are the Types of Neck Pain?
Part of the discussion about neck pain causes and remedies is the different types of neck pain. There are 7 “faces” or types of neck pain:
This type of neck pain happens when you feel soreness on your neck and shoulders. Most of the time, stress – both physical and emotional – and overexertion cause muscle pain in the neck. If you have this type of neck pain, you may experience “hard knots” or “trigger points” that are tender to touch.
This condition is the “sudden tightening” of the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Have you ever experienced waking up with a stiff neck? If you have, that is most probably caused by a muscle spasm in your neck.
Some people do not know it, but there is a thing called “neck-related headache.” You feel it at the back of the head and in the upper portion of your neck. Often, the pain is dull instead of sharp. If you try to move your head, the pain worsens.
Sometimes, the neck pain you experience maybe because of the nerves. The pain goes away eventually (fleeting), but it is sudden and sharp. You will also feel “pins and needles” in the area.
Referred pain is one of the reasons why you must be knowledgeable about neck pain causes and remedies. It means that one part of the body is aching, but you feel the pain on another body part. For instance, when you experience neck pain while eating, there may be a problem with your esophagus. On the other hand, if your neck pain worsens after overexerting yourself, you may have a heart problem.
Bone-related neck pain is less common than one due to muscle issues. If the cervical vertebrae are involved, you should seek medical attention immediately. The cervical vertebrae are found from the base of the skull to the bottom of your neck (before the spine). Bone pain is another reason why you should know about different neck pain causes and remedies.
What Are Neck Pain Causes and Remedies?
Since neck pain causes and remedies are connected, we will discuss them together.
The common causes of neck pain are:
- Muscle strains from prolonged hunching or leaning towards the computer or workbench.
- Worn neck joints due to aging
- Injuries, such as when you bump your head in an automobile accident. Whiplash causes a strain on your muscles.
- Emotional stress may also be a contributor to neck pain.
- Infections like meningitis (inflammation of the meninges of the brain). Cancer patients may also experience neck pain because of tumors.
The discussion about neck pain causes and remedies also involves understanding the predisposing factors or the risk factors. They include:
- Reduced neck strength
- Poor posture
- Previous neck problems
- Labor-intensive work
Natural Remedies for Neck Pain
The following are some of the natural remedies you can perform to ease the pain.
Take short periods of rest. Take a break not just when you already feel pain.
Use an ice pack or hot compress. To reduce pain and swelling, use an icepack. To feel relaxed and to encourage blood flow, use a hot compress. Just note that you need to limit the applications to 15 to 20 minutes. There should also be a two-hour break in-between applications.
Perform gentle stretches. To do this, push your head back when you are in a chair with a headrest for 30 seconds. If the chair does not have a headrest, you can use your hand. Another technique is to roll your shoulders backward and down 10 times. Lastly, you can also bring your ears to your shoulder. Do it 10 times on each side.
Keep moving. However, the head and neck movements should be gentle and not jarring.
Sleep in a good position. If you wake up with a stiff neck, you may be sleeping in a bad position. Take note of how you sleep and find a more comfortable position.
When to See a Doctor
Now that you know about neck pain causes and remedies, it is also important to know when you should see a doctor. Although rare, neck pain, especially persistent ones, may indicate that you have an underlying condition that needs to be addressed immediately. Some of these conditions include herniated disc (when the cervical disc “slips”), cancer, and degenerative conditions. Consult your doctor immediately if the pain:
- Is severe
- Cannot be relieved by any typical remedies
- Spreads down to other parts of the body, like arms and legs
- Is accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling, numbness, or weakness
Key Takeaways on Neck Pain Causes and Remedies
Neck pain is a common complaint. Because of this, it is a good idea to understand the different neck pain causes and remedies. By gently stretching your muscles and making sure that you do not stay “locked” in uncomfortable positions too long, you can prevent instances of neck pain. However, if you do experience neck pains, you can easily relieve them. For serious cases, it is best to consult your doctor to prevent further injury.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.