It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the world’s population will suffer from neck pain at some point in their lives. Due to the modern way of life, the number of people affected by this problem is increasing daily. Stress, reduced daily physical activity, working in front of a computer and improper sitting posture are just some of the causes that can cause neck pain.
This condition can limit the ability to perform normal and smooth daily activities. Therefore, find out everything about neck pain and what lifestyle habits you need to change in order to get rid of it.
WHAT ARE POSSIBLE CAUSES FOR NECK PAIN?
Neck pain can be acute (less than 12 weeks) or chronic (more than 12 weeks).There are several reasons that can result in neck pain such as:
-Injury or sprain of a structure of the neck region (muscle, tendon or ligament). It is the most common cause of neck pain. Risk factors that lead to stretching or contraction of the neck muscles and the occurrence of neck pain are: poor posture when sitting and walking, stress, reduced physical activity, work related to sitting, poor sleeping position, etc.
-Degenerative disease of the intervertebral disc in the cervical region (cervical spondylosis). It is a disease that affects the elderly population.
-Herniated disc. Herniated discs (a structure between two vertebrae) and pressure on a nerve can cause neck pain. In this condition, the pain often spreads to other parts of the body that are innervated by the affected nerve.
-Infection. Infection of the throat by certain microorganisms can cause swelling of the cervical lymph nodes, which are most often painful, especially to the touch.
Other causes of neck pain include tendinitis, subacute thyroiditis, impaired circulation in the vertebrobasilar vascular network, spinal stenosis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, torticollis, migraine, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and fibromyalgia.
Depending on the cause of the neck pain, there may be other side effects such as headache, pain that spreads to the face or shoulders, dizziness, tingling in the hands, back pain, shortness of breath, nausea , vomiting, etc.
HOW TO GET CORRECT DIAGNOSIS?
In order to make an accurate diagnosis, the doctor needs to take a thorough medical history. The medical examination should provide information on what type of pain it is, when it occurred, whether there are other accompanying symptoms and signs, whether a certain position improves or worsens the pain, etc.
If necessary, additional tests such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, electromyography, etc. can be performed.
HOW TO RELIEVE NECK PAIN AT HOME?
1.Apply hot or cold compresses to the affected area. Which type of coating will help the most is up to you, so experiment. Whether you decide on a hot or cold compress, it takes 15 to 20 minutes, and the procedure is repeated every 2-3 hours. It is worth mentioning that it has not been medically proven that hot / cold compresses are sure to reduce pain.
2.Practice appropriate exercises. Daily exercise and movement of the neck muscles in the long run can help you get rid of the pain. Exercises to strengthen the neck muscles are considered to be especially helpful when it comes to chronic neck pain. Take a look at the following exercises:
Before starting the exercises, put a warm compress on the neck to warm the contracted muscles and joints. This will make it easier for you to move. Apply cold compresses after exercise.
3.Massage yourself. Massage is a great way to relax the neck muscles and relieve pain.
4.Hold your body properly while standing and sitting.
5.Change the sleeping position as well as the sleeping pillow.
-For neck pain problems, the best sleeping positions are on your back or sideways.
-Use a feather pillow so that it can be shaped according to the shape of your head and neck. Another variant is a memory foam pillow, which also adapts to the shape of the head and neck. Keep in mind that feather pillows fade over time, so after a while, they need to be changed.
-Avoid pillows that are too hard and high, as they “fix” the neck at night, which can result in neck pain.
-If you sleep on your side, it is best to prevent curvature of the spine as much as possible. Therefore, use a pillow that is higher in the neck area compared to the area where the head is placed.
-On long journeys during which you can fall asleep, bring a suitable pillow (in the shape of a horseshoe) to ensure good head and neck support.
6.Get rid of stress. Stress is the number one enemy when it comes to numbness and pain in the neck and back. Therefore, practice exercises for relaxation and meditation, yoga, etc.
7.Take pain medication. If the pain is unbearable, take pain medication, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition to painkillers, muscle relaxants can be used to relax muscles.
8.Quit smoking. Cigarettes reduce blood flow and delay healing. Therefore, reduce smoking or quit this vice altogether.
9.Visit a physiotherapist. Professional help from a physiotherapist can significantly improve the condition.