Common Neck Pain Causes and Treatment Options

neck pain treatment

Introduction

Neck pain is one of the most common complaints people have. In the United States alone, neck pain is the third most common cause of physician office visits.

Thankfully, fewer than five percent of people with neck pain need surgery. Most cases of neck pain arise from mechanical problems, such as injury or poor posture. Abnormalities in the neck, bones, and joints are unpopular.

If you are suffering from neck pain, neck pain treatment in Lincoln can make all the difference. Your local chiropractor can also help you relieve your pain and get you back on track. Other treatment options exist as well.

Here are some reasons why you may have neck pain in the first place. After that, we’re going to take a look at some common treatment options to help you find relief.

Common Neck Pain Causes

Neck pain can be caused by many things, from muscle tension to “pinched nerves” to serious medical conditions like a tumor. Some common causes of neck pain include:

1. Muscle Tension

This is one of the most common causes of neck pain. For example, poor posture can put a strain on the muscles in your neck and shoulders, causing them to feel sore or tense. You may also develop pain if you hold your head in the same position for too long.

2. Sprains and Strains of the Ligaments

Sprains and strains of the ligaments and muscles that support the neck are also common causes of neck pain and stiffness. These injuries typically occur when you make sudden movements or poor body mechanics during heavy lifting.

3. Worn Joints

Your vertebrae are cushioned by small discs that act like shock absorbers throughout your spine. With age and use, these discs can begin to break down, causing bone spurs (osteophytes) to form on the edges of vertebrae. Bone spurs can press against nearby nerves, causing pain in your neck or arms.

4. Pinched Nerves

The nerves in your neck branch off from your spinal cord and extend throughout your upper body. These nerves can become pinched by bulging or herniated discs, bone spurs, or thickened ligaments.

If you have a pinched nerve in your neck, you may feel pain anywhere along the nerve, not just in your neck. The pain may also travel down your arm and into your hand and fingers.

You can also get a pinched nerve in your hip or lower back that radiates pain down into your leg.

Common Neck Pain Treatment Options

Some of the most popular neck pain treatment options include…

1. Chiropractic

Chiropractors are more than mere back specialists. They can assist you with your neck pain issues and much more. Chiropractors are specialists when it comes to musculoskeletal issues and they can provide appropriate treatment to help you alleviate and ultimately heal your neck pain in no time.

2. Physical Therapy

Like a chiropractor, physical therapists are experts in body mechanics. They can help you with a host of issues, including neck pain. Similar to a chiropractor, a physical therapist will help you remedy your neck issues quickly. Usually this includes a combination of massage and a prescription of exercises and care tips.

3. Massage

Massage therapy is a wonder worker when it comes to fixing neck problems. Due to the fact most neck pain is due to muscle related issues, a massage from a qualified specialist who understands injury, goes a long way. Massage therapy works by reducing muscle tension and restoring normal muscle function. This allows the body to recover much faster.

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a Chinese medical practice involving pricking the skin with small needles. Acupuncture treatment can help alleviate neck pain and other types of chronic pain.

5. Heat Therapy

A physiotherapist may also recommend the use of heat therapy to reduce muscle tension in the neck. No need to see a specialist in most cases. Heat therapy includes warm baths, hot water bottles, and electric heating pads. Treatment at home using a heating pad is convenient. Though, we recommend wet heat therapy for the best results. So if you’re going to use a heating pad, place a damp wash cloth between the heating pad and your skin for deeper muscle penetration.

6. Ice Therapy

Cooling the area with ice packs may also help reduce inflammation and pain. Typically ice therapy is performed directly following injury. But a combination of ice and heat therapy goes a long way to help you heal.

7. Pain Killers and Muscle Relaxers

When the pain is unbearable, these options can bring some quick relief. However, pain killers and muscle relaxers only bring temporary relief. Your body will naturally heal in time but using one of the aforementioned treatment options is recommended as soon as you get the chance. Relying on pain killers and muscle relaxers alone isn’t the best approach.

The Takeaway

If you have neck pain, you may have tried everything from over-the-counter pain medicine to prescription drugs. You might seek alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and massage therapy. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy or surgery. Treatments for neck pain depend on your symptoms and their severity. The best approach can be a combination of different therapies or techniques.

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