Pain the neck can occur because of an injury, a mechanical or muscular problem, a trapped nerve caused by a bulge in one of the discs between the vertebrae or from arthritis of the neck.
Neck Pain is also commonly referred to as cervical pain and can range form very mild discomfort to severe and burning pain.
At times, the pain also might radiate into the arm, hand, up into the head, shoulder or shoulder blades. It is categorized as chronic pain if lasts for more than three months at a stretch.
Neck pain can generally occur due to a number of disorders and diseases of any structure in the neck, which include the seven vertebrae, neck muscles, arteries, veins, lymph glands, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, esophagus, larynx and trachea.
Here we list some of the most common symptoms of neck pain:
1) Muscle strains: Overuse of muscles often triggers off strains. Neck muscles, especially in the back often get fatigued and eventually strained.
2) Arthritis: Age is widely accepted as a causative factor as the neck joints also tend to deteriorate like other joints.
3) Intervertebral disc disorders: With age, the cushioning disks between the vertebrae become dry, narrowing the spaces in your spinal column where the nerves come out. This can eventually result in occurrence of neck pain.
4) Injury: Rear-end collisions, most commonly resulting in whiplash injuries; stretch the neck muscles beyond their limits, causing pain.
Other causative factors include trauma or injury, worry, stress, falling asleep in an awkward position and prolonged use of a computer keyboard.
Treatment of Neck Pain
Though in many cases, neck pain is cured by simple home-care remedies, yet other extensive treatment options have to be adopted in some cases. The main forms of treatment include:
A) Physical Therapy
Heat, ice or similar treatments are generally combined with appropriate stretching and muscle strengthening exercises in order to enhance the supporting structures of the neck.
B) Pain medications
Apart from the over-the-counter medications, the healthcare provider may also prescribe opioid analgesics, muscle relaxants and antidepressant medications.
Especially for neck pain related to nerve root irritation, this therapy may provide immediate relief. In fact, relief might also last for hours or even days.
D) Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
In this therapy, electrodes are placed on your skin near the painful areas to relieve pain.
• Corticosteroid medication
• Short-term immobilization (wearing a soft cervical collar)
At times, neck pain may also be a symptom of meningitis. You must seek medical help if symptoms like excessive rash, high fever, increased sensitivity in the eyes or severe back pain occur.