When there is a stiffness in the neck that just won't go away and starts becoming more and more painful every day, you know you have a problem. Neck pain can hinder your performance at work, school, or anything else you do, and permanent relief from the problem can be a little difficult to find.
In this guide, we will discuss the causes of neck pain, how to get rid of it, when to worry about it, and more, so read on to get back control of your life and your body.
Neck Pain Causes
There are many contributing factors to neck pain, but one of the most common neck pain causes is muscle strain. This is usually the result of poor posture and awkward sleeping positions. Many of us have had this experience when we sleep the wrong way one night and develop a “crook” in the neck that takes a few days to come out.
Posture is another major factor of neck pain that causes so many of us to experience it. When you are constantly holding your head a certain way that is not in alignment with your spine, the muscles in your neck start to strain, and one of the neck strain symptoms is discomfort if never corrected.
Sitting down for long periods of time in front of screens is a leading factor in poor posture, which is what many of us do.
The good thing is is that once you start to notice this discomfort, you can correct the situation by adjusting your posture and changing the way that you sleep. The pain usually only last from one to six weeks, depending on how long your neck has been unaligned with your spine and upper back.
Other risk factors and causes of neck pain can be related to certain sports. If you are a swimmer, you are at a higher risk of developing neck pain than the majority due to the continuous side to side motion of the neck. Sports such as football can have a similar effect with the risk of getting hit in the head or neck.
When To Pay Your Doctor A Visit
While these causes of neck pain can be easily reversed, if persistent or long-lasting, you should see a doctor. Some neck pain can be caused by something else and can be a sign of a severe disease.
Since there is a small chance of neck pain being severe or chronic, it is highly recommended that you try methods of self-care when you have neck pain, which will be discussed later in the guide. With almost all cases, several weeks of this makes the neck pain go away or diminishes the level of pain greatly.
But, if you have tried everything to get relief and none came after several weeks, you will need to visit your doctor to see what the problem is.
Also, when neck pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as a headache, tingling, high fever, or spreads to other parts of the body, it is a good sign that you may have to put the situation in the hands of a professional.
Getting into a car accident or falling are situations where you should not wait for weeks to see if the pain goes away. In these events, seek professional help immediately, as the joints, disks, or human neck bones may have been damaged in some way.
What Are Signs Of Chronic Neck Pain?
Besides symptoms worsening or not getting better after several weeks, there are other signs that your neck pain may be severe.If you experience neck pain and stiffness over a prolonged period, it could be a sign that you have cervical osteoarthritis, which is also known as neck arthritis.
This occurs when there is extreme tension in the neck's joints, causing the pain that you are feeling. When the condition worsens, bone spurs can be created, which causes headaches and pain in the shoulders, arms, and hands.
In another case, if you are experiencing an excessive amount of muscle strain and pain in the neck, you could have cervical degenerative disc disease, which is one of the chronic conditions that are quite common and not as painful as others. It occurs due to the wear and tear of a cervical spinal disc from poor posture.
There are also times when chronic pain can be a sign of other diseases in the body. It can be a clue or symptom of cancer, diabetes, meningitis, drug abuse, HIV, or autoimmune disease. In any of these cases, other symptoms will be present as well, so neck pain is not the primary symptom of these conditions.
Neck Pain Relief
If you are wondering what to do for a stiff neck, you will be glad to know that there are many methods that you can try to help make the pain more bearable.
There are stretches that you can try to release the tension that has built up in the neck, as long as you are careful. Since the neck is already strained, you do not want to make it worse with overstretching.
You can roll the shoulders, bring your ear to your shoulder on the side that needs relief, and do head rolls to get neck relief. If you have the time and money, you could also try physical therapy, such as massages at your local spa or visits to a chiropractor.
You could also try a to apply ice to the affected area right after the development of a crook in the neck when it occurs. After a few days, switch to a warm compress or take warm baths to loosen up the muscle and relieve the tension.
The best thing that you can do for neck pain relief is to find out the reason why you have developed it and fix it. Once you correct the issue, you will not contribute to the neck pain and the remedies will be more effective.
Hopefully, this article has helped you treat your neck pain and given you the relief that you need. For more information on neck pain relief take a look at our neck massager buyers guide and our neck massager reviews.