Understanding Neck Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Pain Relief
The neck is a major part of the body as it provides motion and mobility for the head. Also, it is located at the start of the spinal column and spinal cord connecting numerous vertebrae between the head and the torso. With neck playing an important role in the human anatomy, pain in the neck is a common problem among people.
At any given time, 13% of adults’ population, especially women, suffers from neck pain. The ache can easily excruciate your daily activities like dressing, concentrating or sleeping and lead to stiffness or reduced range of motion. From slouching to sitting in front of a desk working for a long time without changing position, neck pain can happen due to various reasons. In many instances, neck pain is acute and lasts for only a couple of days or weeks. Other times, it may become chronic.
What are the causes of neck pain?
- Poor Posture: Muscles strains are frequently caused by overuse, such as spending too much time hunched over the kitchen countertop while cooking or smartphone.
- Aging: With increasing age, degenerative disorders like osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis can cause neck pain. Stress and motion can cause degeneration in the spine resulting in herniated disc or pinched nerve.
- Mental Stress: Taking stress and anxiety tightens muscles in the neck which eventually leads to neck pain.
- Physical Strain: Activities such as lifting heavy weights and excessive exercise can cause stiffness in the neck.
What are the symptoms of neck pain?
Though neck pain seems normal to us, it can cause severe damage to the spinal structure of the body. Neck pain can manifest itself in various ways, it can be a minor annoyance or it could be so serious that a person’s movement can be restricted. Other than sharp pain in the neck area, it could lead to other symptoms like:
- Stiff neck
- General soreness
- Muscle tightness and spasms
How to get relief from neck pain?
Most of the times, you can treat your neck pain with self-care at home if it was not caused by trauma or an injury. Moreover, certain changes like adopting a more physically active lifestyle, quitting smoking, and maintaining proper posture throughout the day are some of the habits that can provide pain relief. There are other remedies too which can easily help to get relief over neck discomfort:
- Ice/ Heat: Applying ice to the affected area can help to lessen the swelling and pain. Use an ice or a heating pad for about 15-20 minutes within every 2 hours as it increases the blood flow and makes your muscles feel relaxed.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy or rehabilitation has proven to be a great way for pain relief from neck pain. The physical therapy program’s length differs according to the diagnosis and it improves neck flexibility and strength tremendously. A set of exercises is recommended by a physiotherapist which can be carried out at home or at the center while doing the therapy.
- Yoga: Yoga provides a number of innovative remedies to cure discomfort in neck. There are many yoga ‘aasanas’ which focus on the neck area and provides pain relief across it.
- Massage therapy: A massage can help to relieve muscle tension and spasms, as well as reduce discomfort and increase relaxation in the neck area.
- Meditation: Meditation is considered to be the key to long-term pain relief around the neck area as it helps to relax the body and reduces stress. It gives a boost of energy to the body and lessens tension in the muscle.
However before beginning these treatments, you should consult with your physiotherapist. You can also massage your neck with an ayurvedic ingredient based oil, such as Zandu Ortho Vedic Oil to get better relief from neck pain. It is made with 5 traditional oils and over a 100 Ayurvedic ingredients and shows significant improvement in pain in the neck after 7 days of regular use.