Neck pain can cause a lot of discomfort. Diagnosing the cause can be important for finding the right form of treatment. Below are some of the common causes of neck pain and the best ways to treat them.
A lot of neck pain is the result of poor posture. If you tend to stoop when you walk or you spend all day craning over a desk, you’re likely to get a stiff neck. This could turn into chronic pain if you continue to adopt the same posture – for this reason, it’s important to correct your posture. Try to walk with your head held high and reduce the need to lean over a desk by having your computer monitor or work at the right height. You can treat the cramps by resting your neck and applying ice to ease inflammation. Massages and acupuncture could be worth trying too.
Your sleeping position could be causing you neck pain. If you sleep on your front, you’re more likely to get neck pain – this is because the head has to be twisted to one side while sleeping in this position. Side sleepers can also develop neck pain if they’re not using enough pillows. Sleeping on your back is the best position for your neck – a single pillow is usually all you need. Anything more than two pillows is likely to cause neck pain. Consider whether you need to change the way you sleep. Massages, acupuncture and painkillers may be able to help with the cramps.
Injuries from accidents
Neck injuries can occur from accidents. This could include spinal injuries or soft tissue injuries. If you develop neck pain following a road accident or a fall, you should see a doctor straight away to make sure that it’s nothing serious. More serious injuries could require surgery or physical therapy (you may be able to seek legal compensation to fund these forms of treatment if it wasn’t your fault). Less serious injuries may simply require you to rest your neck for a while. This could include refraining from driving, sports or other activities that could cause you to sharply turn your neck (a neck brace may be necessary in some cases).
Injuries from exercise
A lot of people injure their neck during exercise from sharply twisting it. This could result in a mild cramp or full-blown whiplash. It’s usually not worth seeing a doctor unless it was an injury caused during a contact sport. To help your neck heal, you should rest it for a couple weeks. Physical therapy may be needed in some cases.
Other health problems
Neck pain could be caused by various medical conditions ranging from arthritis to fibromyalgia. Some of these conditions cannot be cured, but can be treated with pain relief so, you can try searching for things like ‘arthritis treatment near me’. Bear in mind, you should see a doctor immediately if you experience neck pain accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- A headache
- A fever
- Swollen glands
- Trouble breathing
- A lump in the neck
What have caused your neck pain and how have you treated it? Let me know in the comments below!