Neck muscles, particularly those in the back of your neck, become fatigued and eventually strained. When you overuse your neck muscles repeatedly, chronic pain can develop. Even such minor things as reading in bed or gritting your teeth can strain neck muscles. In rare cases, infection or tumors may cause neck pain. In some people, neck problems may be the source of pain in the upper back, shoulders or arms.
Signs and symptoms:
Neck contains bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves, any of which can hurt. Neck pain also may come from regions near your neck, such as your jaw, head and shoulders. Conversely, problems in your neck can make other parts of your body hurt, such as your upper back, shoulders or arms. The reason for other related complaints such particularly headaches, feelings of light-headedness and dizziness are due to the tensed and stiff muscles in the neck. The sensations of numbness and tingling in the hands and arms can be attributed to spasms which generate pressure on a nerve, eliciting either an over function or under function.
The most common causes of neck pain are soft tissue abnormalities due to injury or prolonged wear and tear. The cause of this condition is connected to the maintenance of a poor posture in the body when this is accompanied by tension and stress that is continuously borne by the shoulders. The muscles in the neck become sore, heavily ache and become stiff leading to the appearance of pain in the neck. Arthritis, disk orders andinjury may be responsible for neck pain.
For diagnosis, the doctor may use the methods stated below.MRI -This non X-ray study allows an evaluation of the spinal cord and nerve roots. CT (computed tomography). This specialized X-ray study allows careful evaluation of the bone and spinal canal. Myelogram - This specific X-ray study also allows careful evaluation of the spinal canal and nerve roots. EMG - This test evaluates nerve and muscle function. The orthopedist may supplement your evaluation with blood tests, and, if necessary, will consult with other medical specialists.
The best way is to decrease or eliminate activities that stress your neck muscles. In general, try to avoid any bending or twisting of your neck, and avoid lifting and reaching above shoulder level. Try to save high heels for special occasions, and wear low-heeled shoes or flats most of the time. Tilt your chair back. Often, neck pain is caused by jutting your head forward. When you read or watch television, recline your chair so that your head is supported by the back of the chair or a wall. Adjust your monitor so it's at eye level. Wear a headset. Trade up to a down pillow and sleep on your side or back, not your stomach. Drink 1 cup beef or chicken bouillon before you ride.
The treatment depends on the severity of the disease. Pain reliever such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium (Aleve) and. Acetaminophen relieves pain but not inflammation.Physical therapy strengthens muscles that support the cervical spine. Pain medications -Opioid analgesics are sometimes used briefly to treat acute neck pain. Muscle relaxants antidepressant medications also may be prescribed. Traction -This therapy, under supervision of a medical professional and physical therapist, may provide relatively fast relief of some neck pain, especially pain related to nerve root irritation. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Electrodes placed on your skin near the painful areas deliver tiny electrical impulses that may relieve pain. Corticosteroid medication. Although there is some evidence that corticosteroids are useful, research is inconclusive. These drugs may be administered orally or via injection into the space around the nerve roots. Short-term immobilization- A soft cervical collar that supports your neck without taxing your muscles may help. Surgery is rarely needed for neck pain. It is used to relieve nerve root or spinal cord compression.
Epsom salts contain loads of magnesium that is absorbed through the skin. Magnesium helps promote the healing of torn muscles. Add 2 cups Epsom salts to a tub of hot water. It also relieves any swelling.Banana- Eat a banana or two a day and you may cut down your cramping. Milk contains adequate amounts of calcium that helps to curtail cramps. Water is the best bet for avoiding a painful muscle cramp while you exercise. Ice is another good way to reduce inflammation. Heat can help relax sore muscles. Apply heat or ice for 15 to 20 minutes, with a 40-minute rest between applications.
Herbal remedies have the advantage of producing minimal, if any side effects, and are often more effective than their allopathic counterparts. For temporary relief of pain capsium creme has proven effective in providing pain desensitivation.A few leaves of rosemary can help reduce swelling in strained muscles.The primary use of devil's claw today is for conditions that cause inflammation and pain:
Willow bark is more effective remedy for neck pain.Tart cherry is known to reduce inflammation and help people suffering from arthritis.Healing of constricted muscular tissue and relief from pain may be obtained by massaging the stiffened muscles of the neck with the oil of St. John's wort, in combination with the oil of the arnica herb and a salve made from hops along with beeswax as a base. In certain cases and for the same condition tea made from the chamomile herb is effective, so is the tea from the lady's slipper, the tea of passion flower, the skullcap, tea from the wood betony, the hypericum herb and valerian tea can greatly ease the symptoms, all these herbs may also be if preferred taken in a tincture or a capsule form for those who may dislike the teas.
Bryonia is to be used with those patients with neck problems who experience stitching sensations in the shoulders and in the region in the nape of the neck.
Calc. phos is used in patients with neck problems when exposed to a cold draft and wind or when moved slightly.Causticum is used in problems of the neck where the tendons and muscles have contracted and are extremely stiff. Chelidonium is to be prescribed as a homeopathic treatment option in cases of problems of the neck where there is tenseness and heaviness in the neck along with pressing pain.
Cimicifuga is to be used in cases where the pains are like electric shocks, spreading and shooting into the left arm affecting this particular side of the body.
Gelsemium is to be used when the neck problem includes soreness and tenderness in the region, there is a dull but persistent headache in the back of the head along with a stiffened neck. ]
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