If you are dealing with neck pain that seems to be taking over your life, you are not alone. Many people suffer from neck pain for a variety of reasons and it is common for many others to seek help from a Jacksonville chiropractor. In the meantime, you may be curious to know what the main causes of neck pain are. Let’s see what they are.
This is not a reason that should surprise anyone since it is easy to see everyone around hunched over their phones or other devices. Leaning over a computer all day long can also be a contributing factor to neck pain. Since asking you to forgo the use of your devices is absolutely impossible, avoid straining your muscles for this reason and be mindful of your posture. Take breaks and walk around staring straight ahead for a couple of minutes every hour to allow your neck to relax.
Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over a computer or a smartphone, often triggers muscle strains. Even minor things, such as reading in bed, can strain neck muscles. Be mindful of activities that require you to strain your neck daily. Some may be unavoidable if they are related to your job or to things you have to do like looking down while cooking. In any case, be mindful of the position of your neck, particularly if you notice it is bent down for long periods. Stretch it out for a couple of minutes before returning to your activity.
As with other joints in the body, neck joints tend to wear with age. In response to this wear and tear, the body often forms bone spurs that can affect joint motion and cause pain. In this case, your best bet is to get a diagnosis from a medical professional and some advice as to how to handle the wear and tear that comes with age.
Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of the neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord. This may happen due to an injury or the impact of an accident but it may also have genetic components or other factors that lead to nerves being compressed. Make an appointment to see a healthcare professional to find out how to decompress that bothersome nerve.
It is not uncommon for victims of car accidents to end up having neck pain in addition to other injuries. Rear-end auto collisions often result in whiplash injury. This occurs when the head jerks backward and then forward, straining the soft tissues of the neck. Although whiplash is so common, getting rid of it is not that easy. In some cases, it does go away on its own after a couple of days, but many report having to deal with neck issues for a long time after the crash
Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or cancer, can cause neck pain. In these situations, you have to be under the care of a medical specialist that can help you address the pain in your neck and advise you on the best way to keep it from coming back.
Depending on the cause and severity of the pain, you may treat it with:
Self-care for neck pain includes taking over-the-counter pain relievers, applying heat or ice to the affected area, resting your neck, and avoiding activities that may worsen your pain. You may also benefit from using a low, firm pillow at night and checking your posture during the day. These steps may be helpful for mild to moderate neck pain that lasts less than six weeks. Otherwise, seek medical help.
A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen your neck muscles, improve your range of motion, and correct your posture. Physical therapy may also involve other modalities, such as massage, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation.
If your neck pain is caused by a pinched nerve or inflammation in the joints or muscles of your neck, your doctor may recommend injecting corticosteroids near the source of the pain. Steroids can reduce swelling and pain.
Visiting a chiropractor for a spinal alignment may also offer you relief from your neck pain. Your chiropractor may recommend specific self-care measures and some exercises you may follow at home to continue treating the pain.