Your neck is probably the most underrated body part for comfort. It is made up of small and delicate vertebrae that absorb the shock. In addition to that, it also contains a lot of small muscles, nerves, discs, and ligaments that all have to support your head movement. Any kind of abnormality can cause neck pain and stiffness and until you fix that problem, you will likely suffer for a few days. We can all relate to neck pain, but not all of us have the same type of pain. In this article, we’ll discuss why you have neck pain, what causes it, what can you do to fix it, and how should you go about it moving forward in order to prevent it from happening again.
Why does it hurt?
There are a few reasons as to why your neck might hurt. Overall, neck pain is not a serious chronic condition that requires immediate medical attention, but it definitely can cause some distress in your life. Neck pain itself can cause you to have headaches, decreased productivity, and generally ruin your mood. Not to mention, neck pain prevents you from having full range of motion.
Usually when we talk about neck pain, it’s a change in the regular morphology of the neck. It’s usually a muscle stiffness or a nerve pinch which can be blocked by some of the vertebrae ridges. In fact, nerve pinch in the neck can actually cause shoulder and arm pain because it’s so close to the central nervous system. This is why we feel a slight euphoria when we release the neck pain by way of massage of treatment.
Causes for neck pain:
A very common reason why people have neck pain is because of an injury in case of a fall, an accident or upon impact. Boxers are known to have a lot of neck pain due to the impact they receive on the head. The neck muscle and ligaments can receive up to 100 pounds of impact from a direct punch, and if the person is not aware and they have not braced themselves for impact, they might hurt their neck quite severely. Other sports such as rugby can also cause the same type of injury because it’s a heavy impact sport. Usually, this has to do with the ligaments forced to move beyond their limits which can cause tears or separations.
This has to do with inflammation of the connective tissue that is around the brain. Meningitis can also cause a lot of headaches, trauma, and hallucinations. Overall, this is a bad type of neck pain and it needs immediate medical care.
This cause of neck pain usually comes with overall stiffness and swelling of the neck. It’s common amongst the senior demographic but it can also happen to younger people.
This is the most common reason why people have neck pain and it’s usually because of poor posture and bad neck mechanics. It can be caused by sitting at your desk for too long, having bad posture, sudden neck movements, and even bad sleeping positions. Though this is the most common cause for neck pain, it is also the easiest one to deal with.
This is condition that causes the neck to have internal fractures and can lead to irreversible damage. It weakens the bones around the neck and can even cause shoulder and chest pain.
Treatments for neck pain:
If your neck pain is not caused by sudden movement or by having a bad posture, then you might consider going to a doctor for MRI scans, blood tests and X-rays for more accurate and effective methods of treatment. However, if you have nagging neck pain that’s causing you some headaches, lack of productivity and a general bad mood, then you should consider the following treatments:
Icing: Icing helps relieve pain in the neck area by improving blood circulation. You should alternate between hot and cold compress for improved results.
Anti-inflammatory: You can always choose to get some over the counter medications for relieving pain and decreasing inflammation in your neck. Ibuprofen and paracetamol are good options, just make sure you consult your doctor about the dose for more accurate and safe treatments.
Resting: If you know the neck pain has been caused by an injury in sports, then take a few days off for a massage and to let the neck heal.
Traction: In some cases, traction can help relief neck pain especially if you have a pinched nerve. You can achieve this by elevating your neck slightly through a neck support equipment.
Better posture: Your posture is probably the number one thing you can do in order to improve the way your neck feels. It can immediately help your neck pain and conditions you to maintain a better neck posture in the future.
Special cervical pillow for neck comfort: If you’re serious about getting rid of neck pain for good, then you should definitely consider getting a cervical pillow for your neck. These are perfect if you’re a side or a back sleeper because they perfectly hold your neck in the best position while you sleep. The results can be noticed immediately.
Things you can do to prevent neck pain:
There are a few things that can surely strengthen your neck and prevent any injuries moving forward. Some of these are more specialized, but others should be used by everyone.
Neck strengthening: If you frequent heavy impact sports such as Jujutsu, boxing, wrestling, judo, and other sports where your neck is in a vulnerable position, then you should consider strengthening your neck. You can do this by improving the range of motion from left to right, and up and down. Once you feel like your neck is healthy again, you can add more resistance just by your hand and it will go a long way. Mike Tyson actually attributes his resilience to neck injuries and getting knocked out to neck exercises, he used a neck strap attached to weights to thicken the muscles around his neck.
Improving posture: Another excellent way to prevent neck injuries is to improve the way you stand, sit, and sleep. These are the most common positions your neck is going to be in. Your neck is very delicate and it is not as thick as your hips, knees, or lower back, so make sure that your neck is in straight position at all times. A good way to do this is to look exactly ahead and elevate your chest slightly.
Getting a cervical pillow: These are pillows that are designed perfectly for your neck while you sleep. We have no control over what our neck does while we sleep and in fact, most injuries happen while you sleep. You can totally prevent those if you have a good pillow such as the Cervical Cloud™ Neck Pain Contour Pillow. This piece alone can fix years of neck pain and you can notice the results almost immediately.