What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain is very common and is usually the product of a long process. Neck pain can occur due to many different reasons such as poor posture , weakening of the muscles, stress, insomnia and disc wear.
Neck pain is not usually a serious problem on its own. However, if there are symptoms such as pain spreading to the arm or leg, numbness, weakness, weight loss, fever and it started after trauma, you should consult a doctor. You can greatly improve your neck pain with simple precautions you can take.
8 Tips to Prevent Neck Pain
- Do not stay in the same position for a long time: Even if you are working, if you get up every 20-30 minutes during the day and move a little, you can prevent your neck from staying in an unhealthy position for a long time.
- Make ergonomic adjustments : Put the computer screen at eye level and keep the mouse close at hand so you don’t have to reach for it. Use a headset or turn on the loudspeaker while talking on your phone. Do not use the tablet in a hunchbacked or head tilted position.
- Make sure your eyeglass rating is up to date: If you need to wear eyeglasses, make sure your eyeglass rating is up-to-date. If you are not aware that your lens size has changed, you may be unconsciously positioning your head back to see more clearly.
- Do n’t use too many pillows: Putting too many pillows under your head can cause stiff neck.
- Know your limits: Ask for help if you need to move a heavy item, such as a closet.
- Pay attention to your sleep quality: Sleep disorders can cause musculoskeletal pain.
- Don’t be dehydrated: The discs in our spine contain about 80% water when we are born. With age, the water content of the discs decreases and the discs wear out. Drinking enough water every day can prevent discs from drying out.
- Get enough magnesium: The majority of neck pain is due to muscle tension or muscle spasm. Magnesium helps muscles relax. Fruits, vegetables, soy, beans and grains are rich in magnesium. Magnesium supplements may be recommended by a doctor for people with insufficient magnesium intake.
This article may interest you: “ Which Doctor to Go to for Neck Pain? “
Home Treatment for Neck Pain
Apply Cold / Hot
Generally , in the first 24-48 hours, it is aimed to reduce the edema and inflammatory process with cold application, and then to relax the muscles and relieve stiffness with hot application. However, the effect of cold or heat in neck pain does not go deep enough to affect the inflammatory process. Therefore, you can use hot or cold whichever makes you feel better. Treat both for a maximum of 20 minutes and use a thin towel or cheesecloth to prevent damage to your skin. You can repeat this process several times a day.
Do Stretching Exercises
When neck pain and stiffness decrease, you can start stretching exercises. You can feel more comfortable if you do these exercises after hot application.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to treat neck pain. Strengthening and endurance exercises reduce your pain. In general, it’s better to stay active. 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, cycling, swimming) every day strengthens your spinal muscles. With exercise, your blood circulation increases. Consult your doctor to find out which exercises are right for you.
Other Suggestions for Neck Pain
- By applying pressure to the skin, muscles and tendons with massage, muscle tension, spasm, joint stiffness and pain can be reduced.
- When lying down , use a pillow that supports your head and keeps your neck vertebrae in its normal shape. Chairs with head support can relax your neck. Sleeping face down is not recommended as it can strain the neck.
- Be in a comfortable position throughout the day. When your neck pain increases, you should take a break from intense and straining activities. The use of a neck collar is generally not recommended.
4 Key Exercises for Neck Pain
Repeat these movements 10 times. If you feel uncomfortable with any of these exercises, stop immediately and consult your doctor before continuing.
You can visit our “ Neck Exercise Program ” page to find other exercises you can do to relieve neck pain .
Other Methods for Neck Pain Treatment
Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory group pain relievers are effective in controlling neck pain and returning the person to daily life activities. Do not use these drugs without the advice of your doctor in terms of your additional diseases or the risk of interaction with other drugs you are using.
Muscle Relaxants and Other Medications
The positive effect of muscle relaxants on neck pain is not very clear. Follow your doctor’s recommendations on this matter. Some of the antidepressant group drugs have also been found to be effective in the treatment of neck pain and are being used.
Physiotherapy and Neck Pain
Ultrasound therapy and other warming treatments, electrotherapy (TENS) , manual therapy and traction are among the physical therapy methods that can be applied to neck pain.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Chronic neck pain can also have a psychological dimension. Cognitive behavioral therapy, one of the psychological treatments, is effective in reducing chronic neck pain.
Alternative or Complementary Medicine Methods
Methods such as acupuncture, dry needle therapy, neural therapy and prolotherapy can be beneficial when applied to patients selected by certified physicians in these fields.
A very small part of neck pain requires surgery. Surgery may be required if there is nerve root or spinal cord compression that causes loss of strength and sensation in the arm or leg.
Keep reading: “ What Causes Pain That Spreads From The Right Side Of The Neck To The Shoulder? “