It is fairly clear for anyone to see that our lives today have become much more sedentary than before. In earlier times, people would walk long distances not because of any urge to exercise, but as a matter of necessity. In the modern world however, we ride cars. Even children who used to play with their friends outside now stay indoors holding game controllers and staring at screens.
As a by-product of our modern lifestyle, we are increasingly becoming susceptible to various health issues. One of the most major of these is neck (cervical) pain. We spend a lot of time these days staring at screens – whether it is our mobile phones or our work stations in the office, a large part of our day comprises of this activity. This along with many other lifestyle issues causes cervical pain, something that on the surface appears innocuous but can actually cause a lot of harm in your life.
What are the causes and symptoms of neck pain?
To learn about the causes and symptoms of neck pain, it is important to understand the structure of the neck itself. The neck is the extension of the vertebral column that runs the length of the back and encloses the spinal cord. There are seven vertebrae in the neck and separating these are discs. These are also surrounded by nerves of the neck. There are a whole bunch of other tissues and organs present in the neck region, including arteries, veins, the thyroid glands, lymph nodes, larynx etc. Any disease or disorder that disrupts the proper functioning of these tissues in and around the neck can cause varying degrees of neck pain.
Having understood the structure of the neck, we can discuss the various causes of neck pain –
- Poor postures
- Muscle sprain or strain
- Injury or trauma
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Pinched nerve
- Infections such as meningitis, osteomyelitis etc.
In mild cases, a dull ache in the neck is symptomatic of cervical pain; this pain may or may not be worsened by movement of the neck. In certain cases, an ache in the neck might be accompanied by numbness, tingling and tenderness. In extreme instances, the ache can be replaced by sharp shooting pains, dizziness and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Neck pain is sometimes accompanied by headaches, facial pains, shoulder aches and even back aches.
How can neck pain be treated or alleviated?
Depending on the cause and severity of the pain, neck pain can be treated either at home in a few days or requires the attention of a trained physician.
- If you haven’t suffered any trauma and are experiencing neck pain in isolation (without any other symptoms that might hint at an infection), it is most likely that your pain is rooted in bad postures and lifestyle. In such cases, the pain can be ameliorated with a combination of hot or cold treatments, using a Relaxant Neck Compress for a soothing effect, massage and rest.
As a preventive measure, you must also try to improve your postures, spend some time doing neck exercises and try to lead a healthy lifestyle.
- In case of severe pain, a visit to the doctor may be required. Depending on the source of the pain, the doctor may prescribe painkillers, physiotherapy and muscle relaxants.
- In case the neck pain is related to nerve roots or the spinal cord, a surgical procedure may be necessary to deal with the problem.
Neck pain can hardly be avoided if you meet with an accident or attract an infection. But most of us have experienced neck pain due to our sedentary lifestyles. It is important to remember that we need to constantly exercise and keep our body fit; it will otherwise start rusting and fall apart. And while people regularly go to the gym and work on their biceps, the neck must not be ignored at any cost. Neck exercises are simple and easy to perform and they’ll go a long way to keep you pain-free.
For more information about soothing your neck pain, click here.