Neck pain is a common problem, and many people experience it occasionally. In most cases, it is not a serious problem and usually goes away in a couple of days or a week. However, it can be quite frustrating and interfere with your normal functioning, affecting your life quality.
Fortunately, it can typically be treated with self-care at home. Read on to learn more as we double down on the treatment options for neck pain.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain usually occurs when the spine or neck muscles and ligaments are stressed by injury associated with whiplash and falls.
Other causes include muscle tension and strain due to activities such as; poor posture and bad sleeping habits.
What Are The Symptoms?
Depending on the cause, neck pain ranges from mild to severe, and the symptoms are usually determined by the type of pain you’re experiencing.
Neck pain can be acute or chronic. Acute neck pain occurs suddenly and intensely and subsides within a few days. On the other hand, chronic neck pain persists for weeks or months and can indicate a more serious health problem.
Other symptoms include muscle stiffness or spasms, aching, and shooting pains.
Available Treatment Options for Neck Pain
As earlier indicated, most neck pain, mild to moderate, is typically managed at home with self-care.
You can follow these simple steps to ease neck pain at home:
• Take it easy. Ease back on strenuous activities for a few days. For instance, sports and heavy lifting may aggravate your symptoms. A few days’ rest is the best way to recovery, and you’ll resume normal activities in no time.
• Ice and Heat. You should first ice your neck for the first 24-48 hours after injury to reduce swelling. Then heat with a heating pad to loosen muscles and improve stiffness.
• Exercise. Once your pain subsides, exercise it every day to improve flexibility. Do some side-to-side and up-to-down motions slowly and stop immediately if you feel significant discomfort.
If your symptoms persist for more than a week, seek medical attention. Similarly, if your neck hurts after a fall or an accident, contact your doctor immediately.
Your doctor will check you up and, depending on the diagnosis, may prescribe some pain relief medications or refer you to a specialist for alternative treatments. Medications include; common OTC pain relievers and stronger medications such as NSAIDs, opioids, and muscle relaxants.
3) Massage Therapy
During a massage, the neck muscles and tendons are manipulated, promoting relaxation by soothing muscle tension and increasing blood circulation. You can self-massage or have a friend or a trained professional massage you for better results.
4) Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is recommended for chronic neck pain. During the sessions, a professional physical therapist teaches you correct posture and guides you through flexibility and strengthening exercises to ease your pain.
Traction is a form of physical therapy where weights, or an air bladder, is used to gently stretch your neck to offer relief of some neck pain.
6) Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
This method relieves neck pain by passing tiny electrical impulses through electrodes placed on your skin near the painful areas.
7) Spinal Manipulation and Mobilization
This is done by an osteopath physician or a chiropractor who uses the hands to adjust the spine to improve its range of motion and reduce pain.
Typically, spinal manipulation involves a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust, while spinal mobilization techniques are more limited in their range of motion.
However, before you consider spinal manipulation make sure any serious underlying medical condition such as spinal fracture is ruled out first to prevent the risks of serious complications such as stroke.
Other alternatives include acupuncture, Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), Trigger point injection, and cervical epidural steroid injection.
We Can Help with Neck Pain
Pain does have to define your lifestyle. Put the days of living with neck pain behind you and contact Spine Diagnostic today. Enjoy our state-of-the-art non-surgical pain management and treatment techniques and face every day with a smile.