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Neck pain and stiffness can give you a harrowing time. From children to aged people, the condition is a common problem that can affect all and sundry. In addition to the pain and discomfort, the condition also restricts the head movement. The neck bones and muscles are important as they not only give support to the head but also ensures its free and unrestricted movement.
Stiff neck and neck pain can be an amalgamation of various factors such as
Our professional commitments often demand spending hours before the computer. The sedentary lifestyle is the main wrecker in chief, giving rise to many health complications, with neck pain and stiffness being one amongst them. Sitting in one position for long often results in muscle pull (tension) and strain. The muscle tension can also be an outcome of incorrect sleeping posture.
- Neck injury and inflammation sustained during an exercise or due to an accident can also result in neck pain.
- Neck injury followed by pain and stiffness can also be an outcome of Whiplash (a condition where a person suddenly jerks the head).
- Stiffness and neck pain can also be triggered by medical conditions such as Meningitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (of the neck), Heart attack, Fibromyalgia (muscular pain particularly in the shoulder and neck area), Cancer (of the spine), Spondylosis, and Spinal stenosis, to name a few.
Seek a medical assistance in case
- The condition aggravates and persists for long.
- The pain and stiffness are sudden and unexplained.
- Pain that slowly moves down the arms and legs.
- In addition to the neck pain and stiffness, a person complains of a headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, difficulty in eating food, a bowel disorder.
- A lump (in the neck) accompanied by pain and stiffness needs immediate and thorough investigation.
Diagnosis and treatment
Neck pain and stiffness are often diagnosed by
- Physical examination.
- A lumbar puncture can also aid in the diagnosis.
- Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, CT scans, Electromyography
- Blood tests.
Depending on the severity, a doctor decides upon the course and mode of treatment
- The use of ice packs or heat pads (avoid very high temperature) on the affected area every 2-3 hours (for 15-20 minutes) can provide great relief.
- Gentle massaging can go a long way to relieve the pain and stiffness. It only helps to improve the blood circulation.
- Neck exercises and stretching play a pivotal role in strengthening the neck muscles, thereby reducing the pain and stiffness. However, in an endeavor to achieve maximum results, do not overdo yourself.
- Medicines such as Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), Tylenol, Advil, corticosteroid injections, come in handy in case of severe pain and inflammation.
- Use of a neck collar provides support to the affected area.
- Surgery may be recommended (very rare) in the case of serious complications.
- Some patients also benefit from Acupuncture and Chiropractic (alternate medicines). Consult an Expert & get answers to your questions!
Hi I am 28 year girl, I have a major back pain for last four days I have taken medicine and gel tried but it does not effect for long time so please tell me even I could not sit for a long time.
Hello,. I am 42 years old and I am suffering from severe back pain. I have this pain for last 2-3 months and I am not getting relief from so. Not only this but I have a pain in my legs also but not much as my back but it makes it difficult for me to climb stairs as my home is on the the second floor. I am suffering from migraine also so I have headache most of the times. I am using various ointments and medicines but there are of no help. I need a immediate help. I consult a doctor long time back for the treatment of the diabetes and blood pressure and I am consuming the same medicine for so long (zoryl m1 and repace h). Pls help me.
I am 38 years have low vitamin d and b-12, with high ldl, have pain in elbow joints and wrist and have pain in calf muscles what is the reason and remedy please help. Thanks.
I am suffering from back pain And pain at right side after stomach. I can run but can't sit long tym. Dr. has advised me for MRI as no benefit after taking medicine till 1 month. Pain is from 9 months. please advise what to do? Age is 24.
Your knees are one of the most vulnerable parts of your bodies. In case of strenuous or vigorous activities, knees are more prone to damage and injury than the other parts. Several of the knee tissues are fairly delicate and often are easily impaired. Among the other knee tissue injuries, meniscus tears are perhaps the most frequent. Meniscus is essentially a cartilage that protects and stabilizes the knee joints. However, an untoward twist or a strain can lead to a tear in the meniscus. Meniscus tears are a common phenomenon among athletes and sportsmen. They have been noted to be more recurrent in older individuals.
Some of the early symptoms that indicate the onset of a meniscus tear are swelling and difficulty in bending or straightening of the leg. Sometimes a "locking sensation" in the knees also forebodes a torn meniscus. The inflammation potentially causes a lot of pain and irritation. While, it is fairly easy to ignore a meniscus tear for a normal knee injury, prolonged overlooking may only aggravate the pain and worsen the condition. The process of diagnosing a meniscus tear usually involves an MRI scan and an X-ray examination, over and above a detailed evaluation of the wound.
Treating meniscus tears vary according to the extent of the injury. Depending upon the location and the depth of the tear, various cures can be tried. The healing process, however, depends upon other allied factors such as age, level of physical activities and one's medical history. An external and minor injury is easily mendable. Whereas, graver injuries are resolved through surgical means. The other non-operative means include certain prescribed medicines and specific exercises. Some of the recommended ways of battling a meniscus tear can be enlisted as:
- Resting the knee by limiting the activities that involve excessive use of the legs or they may potentially strain the leg muscles.
- Applying ice pack can significantly bring relief to the swelling and the pain in the injured knee. Doctors advice regular use for a duration of at least 15 days.
- Compressing the knee using an elastic bandage or neoprene sleeve reduces the swelling in the knee.
- Prescribed medicines in the likes of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be effective remedies for a meniscus tear. However, one must mandatorily consult a doctor before consuming such medicines.