More than 30% of adults in the United States experience neck pain each year, with 50% of the population having chronic and frequent pain. Neck pain is a common complaint often due to strained neck muscles from poor posture like bending while texting or leaning over your laptop as you work. Often, neck pain is not an indication of a severe problem and may go away with self-care measures and treatment like over-the-counter pain relievers. However, Hyattsville anesthesiology treatment may be necessary if your pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as loss of strength or numbness in your arms and hands.
What causes neck pain?
The neck supports the weight of your head and is among the most flexible parts of your body. This makes it vulnerable to injuries that can limit your range of motion and cause pain. Examples of the causes of your neck pain include:
Injuries obtained from motor vehicle accidents and involvement in contact sports can strain the soft tissues of your neck and result in pain. Whiplash is a common injury which you may obtain when the head suddenly jerks backward then forward. Neck bracing and observing muscle strengthening exercises may reduce your chances of whiplash.
Different factors contribute to the strain of your neck muscles. They include spending long hours hunched over your computer or phone, reading in bed, and poor sleeping posture.
Disorders and diseases
Problems or conditions involving your neck tissues can result in pain. Examples of medical conditions that cause neck pain include osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, cervical spondylosis. Other times the pain can result from common infections such as virus infection of the throat and rare infections including infection of the spine bone and tuberculosis of the neck.
Joints in your neck are prone to wear down with age, just like other joints in your body. Age-related medical conditions such as osteoarthritis cause the cartilage covering your bones to deteriorate. When bone spurs form, you may experience pain and a limited range of motion.
Bone spurs or herniated disks along your neck can press on the nerves branching from the spinal cord, resulting in pain and discomfort.
How can I prevent neck pain?
Most cases of neck pain are due to poor posture and wear and tear due to old age. Observing simple changes in your everyday routine can help prevent neck pain. They include:
· Using a pillow while you sleep to help align your neck with the rest of your body or lie on your back with the legs elevated to flatten your spinal muscles.
· Ensure your shoulders align with your hips as you sit or stand, and your ears are directly over your shoulders.
· Quit smoking as it puts you at risk for developing neck pain and is terrible for your general health.
· Take time to stretch your neck and shoulders at least every day and if you travel long distances or your desk job requires long hours of work.
· Avoid carrying heavy bags and luggage on your shoulders to prevent your neck muscles from straining.
Chronic neck pain can limit your productivity and affect your quality of life. If your neck is in pain, visit your doctor at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center for treatment to enjoy a pain-free life.