Neck pain, also known as cervical pain, is a common medical condition that can arise from a variety of causes such as
- Degenerative disc disease
- Slipped disc
- Pinched nerve
- And wrong positioning of the neck while sleeping.
What are the symptoms?
- Stiffness in the neck
- Weakness or numbness in the arm or hand,
- Sharp pain that feels like stinging or stabbing in the lower levels of the neck,
- Radiating pain that travels from the neck towards the arms and shoulder
- And difficulty in holding or lifting objects with perfect grip.
In some cases, a pinched nerve in the neck can also cause pain that radiates upwards to the head, resulting in tension headache
How to treat neck pain?
To treat neck pain, several medical management techniques are available, depending on the severity of the condition. Initially, pain medications are given to provide relief from mild pain. Physical therapy is the most common and traditional way of treating patients with neck pain due to spine inflammation. Steroid injections can also be used, where corticosteroid medications or numbing medicines are injected near the nerve roots to relieve neck pain. In case the pain persists for a longer period and is getting worse with time, surgery may be suggested. A herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal cord compression can be treated by minimally invasive spine surgery, which requires hospitalization for a few days.
Alternative therapies are also available to alleviate neck pain, including:
- chiropractic manipulation for the cervical spine,
- cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT),
- and relaxation techniques.
Chiropractic manipulation involves the use of hands or special tools to manipulate the neck joints and relieve pain. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to release tension and stimulate healing. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps patients change negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to their neck pain. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can also help to reduce stress and tension in the neck muscles, leading to pain relief.
In addition to these treatment options, there are several self-care measures that patients can take to prevent and manage neck pain. These include maintaining good posture, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, using a supportive pillow while sleeping, performing regular exercises to strengthen neck muscles, and avoiding activities that strain the neck muscles, such as carrying heavy bags or using the phone for prolonged periods.
In conclusion, neck pain can be a debilitating condition that can impact a person’s quality of life. However, with proper medical management, alternative therapies, and self-care measures, patients can find relief from their symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening. It is essential to consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs.