Neck Pain— Causes and Tips to Relieve Pain
We all experience neck pain at some point in our lives. Neck pain can be caused by sleeping in an awkward position or more serious problems such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease. The neck is vulnerable to stress and strain because of its intricate structure and wide range of mobility. Your head, which weighs between ten and twenty pounds, is supported by seven small bones (vertebrae) and all held in place by 32 muscles.
Find out what causes neck pain and how to treat and prevent it to keep your neck held high and healthy.
Most often it is the everyday activities that are to blame for your neck pain.
Common causes may include:
- Working at a desk for too long without changing position
- Poor posture while you sit at work, drive in your car or watching TV
- Having your computer monitor positioned to high or too low
- Sleeping in an uncomfortable position or with the wrong pillow for proper neck support
- Twisting or turning your neck in the wrong way while exercising
- Injuries from a fall or contact sports
Common mechanical disorders that may cause neck pain include:
- Muscle strains
- Herniated intervertebral discs
- Spinal stenosis
If you are suffering from minor neck pain or stiffness, use these simple tips to ease your pain at home:
- Apply ice for the first few days your neck is hurting, then apply hit with a heating pad, hot compress or take a hot shower
- Try over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen
- Rest—take a few days off from any sports, heavy lifting or other activities that could aggravate your symptoms
- Slowly stretch your neck every day
- Practice good posture
- Avoid cradling your phone between your neck and shoulder—instead use the speaker or a headset
- Change your position often throughout the day—don’t sit or stand in one position for long
- Invest in a neck pillow for sleeping
Most of the time, neck pain can be relieved in a few days and is not a serious condition. If your neck pain does not go away, is more severe or accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Physical therapy can help to relieve your neck pain. Your physical therapist will use exercises to improve mobility, strengthen the muscles that support your neck and show you better ways to move to help prevent future neck strain.
If you are suffering from neck pain and need treatment, contact us today!