5 Causes of Neck Pain and How to Alleviate It
|"One of the causes of neck pain is being in the same sitting position for several hours. (Shutterstock/fizkes)"|
Neck pain can be caused by incorrect sitting posture or it may be a symptom of certain diseases. This condition can last from a few days to several months and can range from mild to severe intensity. Therefore, it is important to understand the causes of neck pain and how to alleviate it.
Causes of Neck Pain
According to Mayo Clinic, there are several causes of neck pain, such as:
1. Injury or muscle strain from being in the same position for hours, such as hunching over while sitting in front of a computer screen.
2. Degenerative joint disease, which naturally occurs with age, leading to impaired movement and causing discomfort.
3. Pinched nerves in the neck.
4. Whiplash injury, which occurs when the neck undergoes a sudden, forceful movement, causing damage to the soft tissues in the neck.
5. Underlying health conditions, such as meningitis and cancer, which can contribute to neck pain.
Pain in the back of the neck can be a symptom of more serious health conditions that may have an impact on other organs in the body.
How to Alleviate Neck Pain
According to Cleveland Clinic, the treatment for neck pain focuses on reducing pain and improving neck movement. Here are some approaches:
1. Take pain relievers to reduce pain and inflammation. Muscle relaxers can also be taken to help with neck muscle treatment.
2. Engage in physical therapy to strengthen the neck muscles and tendons, as well as improve flexibility.
3. Try transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) by applying low-pressure electrical currents to eliminate pain.
4. Consider steroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain.
5. Explore alternative treatments such as acupuncture and massage to relax tense muscles and reduce pain.
6. Undergo surgical procedures if there are vertebral misalignments or pressure on nerves.
In addition to these treatments, there are several self-care methods that can help alleviate neck pain, such as:
1. Apply a warm compress to the affected area for 15 minutes every few hours to relax the muscles and improve blood circulation.
2. Apply a cold compress for 15 minutes every few hours to constrict blood vessels, reduce inflammation, and swelling.
3. Perform stretching exercises recommended by a doctor to reduce pain and improve neck movement. However, avoid stretching if you have a severe injury.
4. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation or yoga, as they can help reduce muscle tension.
5. Quit smoking, as smoking can damage bone structures and slow down the healing process.
If the cause of neck pain is muscle strain and stress, the condition should improve within one to two weeks. However, seek immediate medical assistance if you experience additional symptoms such as headaches and the pain does not improve after one week, as it could be a medical emergency.