Neck Pain Q & A
What causes neck pain?
The neck holds the weight of the head and is responsible for turning, twisting, and bending to look in different directions. When there is pain present in the neck, the result of a pinched nerve or slipped disc. This is when the vertebrae slips out of alignment and puts pressure on the nerves in the neck. When this happens, it can cause pain in the neck and possibly into other areas of the body. Vertebrae can shift out of alignment from:
- Poor posture such as sitting hunched over your phone all day
- Your neck being stuck in an awkward position for a long period
- Your neck being forced beyond it’s normal range of motion
- Sleeping wrong
Can neck pain can be prevented?
Sometimes neck pain can result from poor posture, or other habits. This type of neck pain can be prevented by using a few simple techniques including:
- Using a firm pillow when you sleep
- Sleeping on your side or on your back
- Maintaining good posture when your sit or stand
- Moving your computer monitor to eye level
- Getting regular exercise to maintain proper movement in your neck
What is treatment like?
Treatment for neck pain will focus on treating the muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones which support the neck and allow movement. An initial examination will be done first to determine the direct cause of your neck pain. Once that has been diagnosed, a specific treatment plan can be created for your symptoms. Some of these treatments can include:
- Resting the damaged area for a few days and avoiding engaging in activities that strain neck muscles, joints, or ligaments.
- Prescription medications can be used to reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and relieve pain.
- Massage Therapy using a TENS unit (electrical stimulation machine) alleviates pain in the muscles caused by inflammation and tension.
- Spinal adjustments of the vertebrae in the neck can put the body back in proper alignment allowing its natural healing ability to take over.
Your doctor might refer you to a physical therapist who can customize a program of stretching and strengthening which relieves your neck pain and help prevent future problems.