Neck pain can be associated with different types of diseases that involve tissues, nerves and muscles in the upper spine region. A typical neck pain condition can include poor posture, herniated disk, pinched nerves and stiffness.
This article discusses some possible remedies that can help to reduce and alleviate common symptoms related to cervical neck pain like headaches, shoulder and facial pain and other symptoms. Some type of diagnosis have been also discusses with some traditional and alternative treatment options.
The last section mentioned also a method called upper cervical specific which is based on the correction of the misalignment of the first cervical vertebra (Atlas) which can bring benefits to all the spine part improving the nervous transmission and fluids from the brain to the body.
Why can we get pain in the neck area?
The neck mainly supports the weight of the head, it is flexible and it can be affected by some conditions that can cause pain and movement restrictions. The causes of neck discomfort can relate on many factors that might raise the pain and worsen the symptoms.
Muscle strain is one of the most common cause, especially when people sit for long hours with a bad posture in front of the computer or bending the neck over a tech device. Worn joints can be also another cause of neck pain once with age the cartilage between the bones tends to deteriorate and the formation of bone spurs that affect joint movement.
Injuries can also contribute to raise pain in the neck straining the soft tissues, irritating the neck muscles and misalign the Atlas (first cervical vertebra). Herniated disks can also press on the nerves causing severe pain also in the shoulders and the upper back area.
Some type of diseases like cancer, arthritis or meningitis can contribute to raise pain and other severe symptoms which are more difficult to treat.
Diagnosis can help to better detect the problem.
Depending on the problem, if you decide to consult a specialist or a chiropractor, you might need to make some image tests which may help your practitioner to better understand the nature of your problem and the scope of your therapy if you need to follow one.
Here follows some common tests that might help you on what they are used for:
Magnetic resonance (MRI)
It is a technology that produces three dimensional images detecting the rotational axis of protons present in water living tissues.
A computer tomography uses a combination of X-ray and a computer to produce pictures of tissues and bones from many different angles.
Electromyography, can detect muscle and nerves dysfunction and problems related to signal transmission from nerves to muscles.
Myelogram is a test done by a radiologist that uses x-rays and computer tomography to look to problems that can present in spinal cords and nerve roots.
Discography is a procedure to determine if the disks are the cause of the pain, injecting a liquid in the possible affected area and to see if it produces pain to the patient.
How can you treat neck pain ?
To define a treatment strategy we first need to determine the location and the cause of the symptoms that causes discomfort. Some remedies can include some self care strategies as follows:
Cold or heat applications
Cold or heat applications with a cloth or ice gel can help to reduce inflammation, heat in particular can help to spur the blood flow even if it is recommended to not exceed 15 minutes for each application to avoid the part to become stiff.
Over the counter medications
Some over the counter anti-inflammatory can help to treat soreness like ibuprofen and naproxen, or plasters that can generate heat once in contact with the skin. We should consider that these types of remedies might alleviate temporarily the pain but in the long term it is advised to better determine the origin of the problem and reduce the intake of any type of pain killer.
Exercises to stretch and relieve neck muscles
There are available on You tube a countless number of exercises that can work very well to ease pain and discomfort, try to practice a few and see which one can work for you the best.
Neck pain devices
You can opt to buy a few devices that can also contribute to reduce neck pain like a cervical traction kit, neck support cushion, cervical neck pillow and a cervical collar. It is also available a corset that can help people to correct poor posture which is one of the most common causes of neck stiffness and pain.
Medical treatments and chiropractors
Chiropractors use manual therapies to treat neck pain using joint stretching and therapeutic massage to alleviate stiffness and discomfort. A chiropractor might examine your medical history, prescribe imaging test and physical exams to diagnose the root of the problem.
Different techniques might be implied like assisted soft tissues, joint stretching , resisting techniques and trigger point therapies; A method called upper cervical is based on the correction of the Atlas. When there is a misalignment of the Atlas most caused by previous traumas, some problems related to the nervous system might arise including impulse transmissions from the brain to the body.
The upper cervical method is applied in a gentle way, without cracking or twisting using some soft pressure in some points in order to align the neck and to repristinate the right balance between the head and body position. It might take a duration of four months to correct properly the position however, the results of the therapy can be effective after a few sessions.
The Bottom Line
Cervical neck pain relates to different conditions and factors that have been illustrated in this article. Sometime it might be difficult to determine the real cause of the symptoms that affect some people in the neck area. It is essential to diagnose as much as possible the nature of the problem in order to begin the right treatment. It is recommended also to consult a physician to check the side effect if you take also other medication.
Home remedies can help to alleviate the pain and stiffness in the neck but if the symptoms persist it is advised to consult a specialist that can diagnose and determine a plan to treat properly the issue. Each treatment for neck pain depends on the diagnosis of a doctor and the most common therapies can include acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, electrical nerve
stimulation, traction and steroid injections.
Thank you for reading please leave a comment if you wish and see you in the next health and wellness episode!