Neck pain is a common occurrence for a lot of people. It can either be short term reoccurring instances or a long term condition.

As neck pain has a variety of causes, it also has a variety of treatments. It’s important to know what type of neck pain we have, whats its causes are, and what we can do to relieve the tension or to correct the condition. With that being said, let’s develop a better understanding of it, its causes, and treatments.

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Neck pain can be the result of a particular health condition, bone disease, accidental injury, or mismanagement due to a poor lifestyle. The only way to identify what the issue and cause for your neck pain, is to speak with your doctor and get a proper diagnosis.

When they can identify the cause of your neck pain, they will be able to provide you with advice and treatment depending on your personal case. 

Symptoms of Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Symptoms of neck pain include:

  • Stiff neck when moving around
  • Limited mobility rotating your head
  • Throbbing pain on a part of your neck
  • Difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping or sitting position
  • Pain in your shoulders, back or upper chest when turning your neck

Neck pain should only last a few days, up to a week at most for it to be considered as non-serious. If symptoms persist, however, and increase in pain over time, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck Pain
  • Muscle strain – This occurs due to lifestyle factors such as slouching, sleeping or resting with little to no neck support, living a sedentary lifestyle or having too much stress. All these things can put a strain on your neck muscles.
  • Cervical spondylosis – this is an age-related disease and a type of arthritis that occurs in the neck. As you get older, your intervertebral discs lose moisture and the cushioning effect between your vertebrae begins to become narrower and rub together, causing you pain. A sore neck is one of the most common symptoms of cervical spondylosis, however, you can also experience discomfort in your shoulders, arms, back, and chest.
  • Whiplash – This occurs when the neck is sprained due to a sudden whipping motion of your neck going backwards and frontwards. This stretches the neck muscles and ligaments abruptly and to more intense degrees than it usually would, causing it to strain. 
  • Slipped disc – also referred to as a bulging disc, slipped disc occurs when the outer layer of the disc ruptures and the soft jelly-texture inside bulges out and presses the nerves on your spine. Also called a herniated or bulging disc. This occurs when the tough outside layer of disc tears or ruptures and the soft jelly-like inside bulges out and presses on the nerves in your spine.

When to See a Doctor?

Neck Pain

Neck pain should go away after a few days. However, when it lasts any longer than that or becomes pain becomes more severe over time, then you should go and see a doctor.

If you have suffered from a sudden injury and have injured other parts of your body, check with your doctor immediately as your neck may also be affected.

If the above treatments don’t seem to improve or help your condition, you should speak with a doctor and identify what the main cause of the neck pain is and they will be able to treat it accordingly.

Treatments

Neck Pain

Depending on the severity of your neck pain, you can self treat it or you can seek medical attention. If symptoms persist or self-treatment methods don’t help, you will need to see your doctor for further advice and take treatments that your doctor advises.

Here are a few treatments you can consider trying if you have neck pain: 

1. Ice

As you would with all sore or injured muscles, joints, and ligaments, using an ice pack or applying something cold, can help to reduce the pain, swelling, and inflammation. You can do the same with a stiff or sore neck.

2. Rest

Don’t move your head around or make any sudden movements. Remove yourself from situations where you have to be active and move your head and neck too much. Avoid bending over, lifting heavy, or stretching your body that may aggravate the nerves in your neck. 

3. Physiotherapy

Exercise can only make neck pain better or worse. Visit a physiotherapist and find out the main issues you are having with your neck, identify any causes, and they will be able to advise you with exercises and stretches that can help to improve the condition. 

4. Visit Your Doctor

If the above treatments don’t seem to improve or help your condition, you should speak with a doctor and identify what the main cause of the neck pain is and they will be able to treat it accordingly.

5. Surgery

As a last case scenario, and a rare case as well, your doctor may advise you to have surgery if the pain is severe or the complication may involve your nerves or spinal cord.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.