How many people have you seen with their hands on their necks, trying to adjust their posture to feel comfortable? They frown from pain, right? Well, neck pain is a common problem that arises in children, adults, and old people. Be it the office chair or your living room couch; there can be various causes of neck pain.
A cause for neck pain is rarely severe. Conversely, it does not necessitate that you ignore seeking medical care or home remedies to adjust your posture into the perfect shape and relieve minor neck pains. Studies show that neck pain can be recurring. Moreover, the prevalence rate of neck pain among American adults exceeds an approximate rate of 30%. Besides that, nearly one-quarter of the adult US population acknowledged the disturbance that neck pain caused in their daily life.
Symptoms of Neck Pain
Despite the tendency for neck pain to be chronic, although acute and non-recurring, there are symptoms that help in the early detection of some serious causes. Simply, there are symptoms ranging from a slightly stiff neck to a lack of range in motion. Take a look at the general classification of neck pain in accordance with how long they might persist.
- Acute Neck Pain- a maximum of 4 weeks
- Sub-Acute Neck Pain- a maximum of 12 weeks
- Chronic Neck Pain– over three months
Usually, neck pain originates as a sharp pain point in the neck. Often, it feels slightly intense as it spreads to the shoulders and head. Below are the common neck pain symptoms:
- Pain on the side or middle of your neck
- Stiffness in the neck
- Reduced neck motion
- Clicking sounds in the ear
- Tingling in neck
- Muscle spasms around neck
Common Causes of Neck Pain
As your neck supports the weight and movement of your head, it is susceptible and highly prone to injuries and conditions that can lead to chronic pain. Common causes leading to acute and chronic neck pain in people are below.
- Damaged Joints– similar to other joints in your body, your neck joints are prone to wearing down and deteriorating due to age. Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes the cartilage (present between the vertebrae) to deteriorate. Consequently, the buildup of bone spur occurs that restricts neck movement.
- Head or Neck Injuries– when there are strains on the soft tissues of the neck, for example, due to a head-on collision, it can lead to whiplash injuries. Besides, the jolts that your neck experiences are enough to cause permanent dislocation of the vertebrae.
- Nerve Compression– bone spurs, as well as herniated disks in the nerve branches dispersing outside of your spinal cord
- Muscle Strains– in simple terms, just imagine someone sitting in front of a computer desk and slouching every minute. Got the idea, right? Gritting teeth, reading while lying, excessive straining of neck or back (vertebrae) during a sport, etc., are some examples.
- Diseases– Cancer, meningitis, arthritis (varying kinds), etc.
Treatment Options for Neck Pain
A thorough examination of your previous medical history regarding diseases, injuries, or even disorders points your pain physician in the right direction. Hence, it enables the best treatments to relieve your neck pain and ensure that it doesn’t recur.
Your pain physician may also direct blood tests, CT scans, X-rays, or MRI scans during diagnostics. Nevertheless, both conventional and modern treatment options for neck pain are as follows:
- Spinal Tap (lumbar punctures)
- Physiotherapy (stretching, relaxing, exercises, etc.)
- Ice Therapies
- Heat Therapies
- OTC Medication
- Corticosteroids (injections)
- Neck Collar
- Muscle Relaxants
- Antibiotics (in case of infections)
- Surgery (severe case, extremely rare)
- Chiropractic Adjustments
Optimal Time to See a Pain Physician
Overall, the best time to see a pain physician is when your neck pain exceeds tolerance. In fact, opt for prompt medical attention in case of a recent head or neck injury (even minor). Regardless of that, if you experience any symptoms of neck pain, visit the best pain physician in your area.
After your chosen pain physician or pain medicine specialist performs diagnostics, he will prescribe medications and therapies to provide relief from neck pain. Bear in mind that your pain physician needs to be licensed and legitimately registered in the state where you reside.
Treatment Options for Neck Pain: Conclusion
Poor postures, injuries, and diseases might contribute to your neck pain. So, what do you do? If you are a resident of NYC, you should preemptively contact Dr. Matthew Grimm at Spine New York City.
As a physical pain and medicine specialist, Dr. Grimm possesses excellence in treating of acute and chronic pain conditions. Give a call at 646-862-5555 now and schedule an appointment. Visit their official website for further inquiries, here.