Neck pain, also called cervicalgia is an extremely common problem for most people. In fact, it is estimated that two-thirds of people suffer from neck pain at some point in their lives. The percentage of people suffering from neck pain around the world in 2010 was a total of 5%.
Even though the pain is recognized in the neck, it could also be caused by multiple other issues with the spine. Your neck is made up of vertebrae that travels down from the skull to the upper torso. Between the bones, there are cervical discs to absorb the shock caused by activity in the body.
The bones, muscles, and ligaments of your neck assist in supporting your head and giving it the ability to move. If there is any kind of inflammation, injury, or abnormality, it can result in neck pain or stiffness. Neck pain can happen from tightness in the muscles of the neck and/or the upper back, pinched nerves in the cervical vertebrae, or even joint disturbance in the neck or the upper back.
Most of the time, neck pain is not due to a serious condition and can be alleviated in a few days with rest. In rare cases, a doctor’s care may be required. This is especially true if the pain has lasted for over a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms.
Why Does Neck Pain Happen?
There are a number of reasons that neck pain could happen:
- Muscle strain and tension: Usually from activities and behaviors like the ones listed below:
- Improper posture
- Jerking your neck during exercise
- Working at a desk too long without changing position or stretching
- Sleeping with your neck in a wrong position
- Injury: The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury. Trips and falls, car accidents, sporting injuries, or any trauma involving a blow to the head or neck can cause injury. For those who have experienced whiplash, the sudden jerk of the head would be enough to cause neck trauma.
- Heart attack: Neck pain could be a symptom of a heart attack, but take note that heart attacks commonly include one or more of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Arm or jaw pain
- Meningitis: This is an inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, and it involves fever and a stiff neck. It is recommended that you seek medical help right away if you have this condition as it is a medical emergency.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Swelling of the joints, bone spurs, and pain in the neck area
- Osteoporosis: Because this condition weakens bones, small fractures can occur in the neck.
- Fibromyalgia: A condition causing muscle pain throughout the body, particularly in the neck and shoulders
- Spondylosis: Degeneration of the cervical discs, also called osteoarthritis of the neck
- Herniated cervical disc: When a disc protrudes, as from trauma, it puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
- Spinal stenosis: The spinal column narrows and causes pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots.
- Congenital abnormalities
- Cancer of the spine
- Tips for Treating for Neck Pain at Home
If you have minor pain or stiffness, here is a list of ways to remedy your discomfort:
- Apply ice for the first three days, then follow with heat.
- Rest for a couple of days, staying away from your normal routine of sports, heavy lifting, and other activities that increase your pain. Gradually return to your normal routine.
- Exercise your neck by doing slow, gentle stretches. For example, move your head first to one side and then the other. Then slowly add up and down movements as well.
- Be consistent with using good posture.
- Avoid holding the phone between your ear and shoulder.
- Change position often if you must be seated for long periods of time.
- Neck massages can bring immediate relief for neck pain.
- Never use a neck brace or collar without your doctor saying it is ok. This can actually worsen your problem in some cases.
- Use a pillow with proper neck support for sleeping.
If you have applied these suggestions but continue to suffer from neck pain, you may need to make some bigger changes and seek the care of a professional. At Atlas Health Australia, we are specially trained to provide help to people with neck pain and other problems that arise from issues in the upper cervical spine.
The Connection Between Decreased Neck Pain and Upper Cervical Care
When neck pain persists, it could be caused by a misalignment of the bones of the upper cervical spine. These bones can easily misalign because of an accident, a simple trip, and fall, or a sporting injury, which can lead to various problems in the body, including neck pain.
A shift from the proper alignment in this area places stress on the brainstem, disrupting the sending of accurate signals to and from the brain. This kind of impact on the brainstem can lead to conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines, and multiple others.
We use an adjustment technique that uses scientific measurements and technological advances in order to identify and make corrections to any alignment issues in the upper spine. Without popping or cracking the neck, we are able to get effective, positive results.
By using minimal force, we are able to encourage the bones to naturally return to their place, resulting in a longer-lasting adjustment. In some cases, our patients feel immediate relief and see results in a matter of just a few days. Come visit us today so we can ensure your neck is performing at its optimum and that you are living the pain-free life you should be.
To schedule, a complimentary consultation call our North Lakes Queensland office at 07-3188-9329