Neck pain, also referred to as cervicalgia, is a problem for many people. About 65% of people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. In 2010, about 5% of the world population had neck pain.
Though the pain is experienced in the neck, the problem can be due to several issues with the spine. The neck consists of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. The muscles, bones, and ligaments of your neck hold up your head and allow it to move. Neck pain or stiffness can occur if there is injury, inflammation, or abnormality. The tightness in the muscles of the neck or the upper back, as well as irritated nerves near the cervical vertebrae, can be the cause for neck pain.
Often times, neck pain is nothing serious and can go away in a few days with rest. But in other cases, a visit to the doctor may be needed. Cases of neck pain that last for over a week and are accompanied by other symptoms should not be ignored.
Health Conditions Causing Neck Pain
Neck pain may signal an underlying health condition. Various issues and conditions can lead to chronic neck pain:
- Injury: Due to its mobility, the neck is very vulnerable to damage. Car accidents, sporting injuries, simple trips and falls, or any trauma can give a blow to the head or neck, leading to injury. If the neck or cervical vertebrae get damaged, the spinal cord can be damaged too.
- Muscle strain and tension: A lot of activities and habits can result in muscle strain
- Bad posture
- Sleeping in the wrong position
- Jerking your neck during a workout
- Sitting at a desk too long without shifting position or stretching
- Infections: Neck pain that is caused by infection may come from a simple viral illness such as strep throat and mononucleosis, or by serious infections of the structures surrounding the central nervous system – the brain and the spinal cord.
- Meningitis: This disease is the swelling of the thin tissue that is around the brain and spinal cord and goes together with a stiff neck and fever. It is considered a medical emergency, and anyone who has it should get help straight away.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: It is an inflammatory disease that can damage the joints and cause bone spurs in the neck area, causing extreme pain.
- Heart attack: Neck pain can be an indicator of a heart attack, but heart attacks usually come with the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Arm or jaw pain
- Osteoporosis: Because this ailment deteriorates bones, small breaks can happen in the neck bones.
- Fibromyalgia: It is a chronic condition causing muscle pain and tenderness all over the body, including the neck and shoulders.
- Spondylosis: This term refers to spinal degeneration causing pain in the neck and lower back. It is also referred to as spinal arthritis.
- Herniated cervical disc: Trauma may cause a disc to protrude, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
- Spinal stenosis: It is the narrowing of the spinal column which results in pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots.
- Congenital abnormalities: Birth defects such as congenital torticollis, can cause neck pain as the head becomes tilted soon after birth. It is a rare disease.
- Abscesses: Neck abscesses, or deep neck infections, are the accumulation of pus due to infection in the spaces existing between the structures of the neck.
- Tumors: Tumors are abnormal growths of cells in different parts of the body including the neck. Lumps and neck pain are symptoms of tumors.
- Cancer of the spine: Spine cancer causes pain due to the presence of a tumor in the spinal column, pushing sensitive nerve endings. The pain of spine cancer is felt in the back and may spread in the neck, arms, or legs.
Home Remedies to Ease Your Neck Pain
Some of the ways to alleviate your discomfort from neck pain or stiffness can be done at home. Be sure to follow some of these steps:
- Apply an ice pack to your neck for the first three days. Then begin to apply a hot compress.
- Rest for a few days, and do not engage yet in activities that may worsen the pain such as sports, heavy lifting, and other activities. Return to your regular sports schedule at a slow pace.
- Exercise your neck slowly. Stretch your head first to one side and then the other. Use up and down movements as well.
- Always maintain good posture.
- Don’t sit for too long. Switch positions frequently.
- Use a pillow with proper neck support for sleeping.
- Don’t hold your cellphone between your ear and shoulder.
- Try neck massages to ease the pain.
- Never use a neck brace without your doctor’s consent. This can make your problem worse.
If your neck pain persists even after following these recommendations, it may be best to seek the care of a neck pain chiropractor in your area. N8 Upper Cervical in Filinvest City, Alabang is the best place to start. We specialize in treating neck pain and other issues that develop due to a problem in the upper cervical spine.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Gives Long-Lasting Relief
Persistent neck pain may be due to a misalignment of the bones of the upper cervical spine. If these bones shift from their normal alignment due to trauma or an accident, they can result in various problems all over the body, including neck pain. A misalignment in this spot puts pressure on the brainstem, which could result in improper sending of signals to and from the brain and body. This can lead to neck pain and other health concerns such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraines, and many more.
We use a scientific method to help locate and correct misalignments in this area. Our practice does not do popping or cracking of the neck to get desired results. Through our gentle approach, the bones can return to place naturally, resulting in a longer-lasting adjustment. Successful results of improvement have been experienced in just a few days in some cases. Visit our chiropractic clinic to find relief from your neck pain.