Everything About Neck Pain, Symptoms, Causes and How To Treat It.
Table of contents:
- Symptoms of neck pain
- Causes of neck pain
- Should I see a doctor for my neck pain?
- Conventional treatments for neck pain
- Natural neck pain remedies
- Lifestyle changes to treat neck pain naturally
- 2-Steps Natural Pain Relief
“I used to be a competitive swimmer, pulling miles every morning, up and down the pool. Never would I imagine having this kind of neck pain. I wonder if it is due to overuse?”
“I get serious neck pain when I am on the aerobar of my bike, cycling miles training for a triathlon. My friends say it’s a matter of conditioning, but I don’t wish to end up with chronic pain in old age. Will I?”
“I get neck pain so often that I can even anticipate it! I can’t avoid it when seated on certain chairs, tables or when I spend hours on the computer or reading on the bed. Can it be helped?”
Parts of the body that require repetitive movements especially when it bears some weight often experience pain. Common areas that affect adults are our lower back, knees, hips, shoulders, ankles, and especially our necks.
In our sedentary lifestyle as keyboard warriors, with minimum physical activity hours and days on end, one of the most common complaints is neck pain or pain at the top of the spine. After all, the 7 vertebrae and about 20 muscles supporting the 5kg of an average human head is hard work!
Neck pains are rarely anything sinister, often resolving themselves after some rest, stretching or rubbing some ointment.
However, if your neck pain symptoms last for more than several weeks or are sudden and unexplained, consult a medical professional. Especially if the neck pain leads to headaches, numbness, weakness, and shooting pain to your shoulders or down your arms.
There are more symptoms that warrant consulting a doctor. Read on.
Symptoms of neck pain include:
- Neck pain from holding your head in a position for long periods of time.
- Muscle tightness around the neck and shoulder areas.
- Pain when moving your head.
- Headaches caused by shooting neck pain.
- Tingling or shooting pain to your arms.
Causes of neck pain can be due to:
- Poor posture – stiff necks
- Neck injuries – strains, whiplash
- Cervical spine disorders – herniated disc, disc degeneration
- Pinched nerve
- Infections – eg. meningitis, spine bone infections.
- Tumors and cancer of the head and neck areas
1. Poor posture
Whether it’s sleeping, sitting in front of the computer, or reading a book, a bad posture can cause sore neck muscles which can lead to aches and sharp pain. Sometimes we mindlessly grip our phones between our ear and shoulder while typing on the keyboard.
Other times, we hold our heads bent over the mobile device for long periods scrolling or typing out text messages. Text neck syndrome is a modern phenomenon that puts pressure on the nerves, joints, ligaments, and muscles of the neck.
There are so many subtle abuses of the neck muscles and joints in our modern city living, there is little wonder neck pains and headaches are so common.
2. Neck Injuries
Symptoms of stiff neck and pain often follow an accident, fall, or sports injury where the head was jerked violently. Also called a whiplash, the neck muscles and ligaments are strained and injured by the forceful and sudden push or pull.
3. Cervical spine disorders
The cervical spine is made up of the spinal cord, vertebrae and discs at the upper part of the neck.
When the cervical spine is misaligned due to a slipped or ruptured disc, also called a herniated disc, it can cause pain and stiffness.
When the disc degenerate and wear out due to osteoarthritis or disease, it can cause spasms, restrict neck movements or pain along the arms.
4. Pinched nerve
Whether it is due to a slipped, ruptured disc, or diseases such as spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis, it can cause a nerve in the spinal cord near the neck to be pressed.
The symptoms of pinched nerves are muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling sensation along the arms and hands.
Bone spurs can develop due to the body’s response to degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis (spondylosis), spinal stenosis, trauma, or injury. Some are more genetically prone to bone spurs. Bone spurs can put pressure on the spinal nerves especially in the neck and back areas.
A common viral infection like flu can cause a stiff neck, fever, nausea, or sensitivity to light. A more serious infection that can cause similar symptoms to include meningitis which is inflammation of the membranes surrounding the spinal cords and brain caused by a bacterial infection.
While osteoarthritis we read about earlier is a wear and tear issue due to aging, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder. This happens when the immune system attacks its own healthy tissues instead of defending it against bacteria and viruses. It can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulder, arm and hip areas.
7. Tumours and Cancer of the head and neck areas
These forms of cancer make up only about 4% of cancer cases in the US. The figure for head and neck cancers is slightly lower for Singapore, but some of the symptoms include frequent headaches and neck pain that refuse to go away
Should I see a doctor for my neck pain?
Chronic pain can be draining and challenging both emotionally and physically. Some have a high threshold for pain and will only be ‘dragged’ to consult a doctor when the situation becomes dire. Often when they are keeled over in pain!
Here are some signs you need to see a doctor due to your neck pain:
- Neck pain induced fever
- Severe headache, persistent migraine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Neck pain that persists after two to three weeks
- Neck pain causing you sleeplessness, stress, anxiety, or depression
- Prevents you from exercising or hampering your normal activities
- Does not improve with any treatments you have tried
Conventional Treatments for Neck Pain (Not comprehensive)
If you have consulted the doctors for neck pain, you’d probably be familiar with some of the following typical treatment methods.
The treatments depend on what your neck pain diagnosis is.
This can be assessed through x-rays, MRIs. Often, the doctor will educate the patient on pain management methods as well as referring the patient to a Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, or Orthopaedic surgeon.
Only when conservative pain management failed to help, then more invasive treatments like injections will be discussed. However, these may not be long-term solutions to your neck pain.
Read the next segment for natural neck pain remedies.
- Prescription pain killers eg. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen or diclofenac
- Over-the-counter relievers eg. acetaminophen (paracetamol)
- Corticosteroid medication injections near the nerve roots
- Numbing medication injection eg. lidocaine
Natural neck pain remedies
1.Apply heat, or ice pack
2. Topical balms and liniments eg. 2-Steps Emu Oil Balm & Liniment / Capsules Below
3. Get a massage
4. Try acupuncture
5. Chiropractic care
Lifestyle changes to treat neck pain naturally
7. Reduce stress. A stress-related neck pain takes time and self-care to eradicate. Developing healthy thought patterns, calming our anxieties and worries can reduce muscle tension and neck pain.
8. Avoid sudden movements or unnatural position that adds stress to your neck eg. reading on your couch.
9. Take precaution or rest from physical activity or sports prone to neck injury especially contact sports eg. rugby, martial art.
10. Set up an ergonomic workstation eg. adjustable chairs, tables, and computer screens.
11. Schedule a disciplined use of your handphone, workstation, alternating between work with a couple of minutes of rest within an hour to stretch, get some water, or look out the window.
12. Adopt a good driving position to reduce neck and back pain.
13. Sleeping in a correct posture by choosing the right pillow and mattress can make a difference to your neck and back pain.
14. Exercises and stretches for neck pain. Try these 5mins stretches to relieve neck pain.
15. Cycling without neck pain. In Singapore and around the world, there has been a resurgence of interest in cycling. Be it dirt, mountain, or road cycling, there are a lot of factors that can place stress on our shoulders and neck.
16. The good news is that there are positive actions you can take to prevent neck pain from happening. Watch this video that includes some neck exercises you can perform for warm–ups or warm down.
2-Steps Natural Pain Relief
Emu Oil Balm or Liniment
Apply Balm or Liniment to affected areas that are stiff, tight, painful, swollen or injured.
Emu Oil Balm a cream-like with a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient, Pure Emu Oil, combined with other plant extracts including wintergreen, capsicum, eucalyptus, and more.
- 100% Natural Emu Oil with plant extracts
- Powerful anti-inflammatory
- Penetrates skin easily
- Reduces swelling & redness due to injuries
- Reduces joint & arthritic pain
- Effective relief of muscle tightness & strains
- No additives, synthetic chemicals
Pure Emu Oil Capsules
Consuming Pure Emu Oil Capsules delivers therapeutic benefits of Pure Emu Oil with no additives or preservatives. Emu Oil is a natural source of Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9, and Vitamins A, D, E, F & K2.
- Helps to reduce inflammation associated with pain conditions
- Promotes healthy skin, hair, nails, and heart
- Assists to maintain optimum nutritional levels of Omega acids
- Maintenance of general well-being
There are many possible causes of neck pains. Some conditions may be severe enough to warrant a doctor’s attention. Besides conventional medicines, there are also other natural remedies and therapies one can consider, depending on the source and cause of the pain.
Try the 2-Step Natural Pain Relief that many users have given positive reviews here. http://facebook.com/ilovenatural.store