What is Neck Pain?
The neck is made up of vertebrae which extend from the upper torso to the skull. The muscles, ligaments and bone allow for motion and also supports your head. Any injury, inflammation and abnormalities can cause neck stiffness or pain. neck stiffness can also be caused due to overuse of the neck muscles or poor postures. Neck pain is more commonly caused due to a whiplash, contact sports or a fall.
What causes neck pain?
Neck stiffness or pain can arise due to a lot of reason such as:
Muscle strain and tension-
Injury- Neck pain can also be caused during fatal falls or car accidents. In this case, the ligaments and muscles are forced to move excessively outside their normal boundaries. If the cervical vertebrae or the neck bones are fractured, the spinal cord also tends to be damaged.
Heart attack – In some cases, neck pain can be an underlying cause of a heart attack. if neck pain is caused due to a heart attack, it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, jaw and arm pain.
Meningitis- Neck pain can also be caused due to meningitis. This disease is characterized by an infection or an inflammation of the tissue which surrounds the spinal cord and brain. During meningitis, headache and fever is accompanied along with neck pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis- This condition can be characterized by swelling and pain in the bone spurs and swelling of joins. When these signs start to occur along with neck pain, it can be an early sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
Fibromyalgia- Neck pain can be caused due to this disorder which is characterized by muscle pain in the entire body especially in the shoulder and neck region.
Herniated cervical disc- This condition occurs when a disc in the body starts protruding as a result of an injury or trauma. This condition is also known as slipped or ruptured disc.
Since the IT boom, we are growing very fast economically and digitally. But somewhere compromising health especially our back and neck, Due to prolonged sitting hour (10-12 hrs) on computer and top of that some of you are travelling to Noida/Gurgaon, again sitting for 2-3 hrs too n fro. This article is all about pains in back, neck, shoulder, forearm and legs with which you may be suffering from, the pain one doesn’t correlate to your work.
“Mr. X doesn’t wear a hard hat to work. He doesn’t lift heavy objects nor does he operate heavy machinery. Actually, Mr. X wears fairly comfortable clothing, and he doesn’t need to exert a lot of physical energy to accomplish his tasks. He sits at his desk from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and the only machinery he has to operate is a mouse and keyboard. Sitting in his office, Mr. X is generally safe and secure from injury………but still suffers from pain.”
Our bones and muscles make up our musculoskeletal system. As strong as this system might be, overuse of the muscles through repeated movements can put stress on your body, causing a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Other names for RSI include Cumulative Trauma Disorder and Repetitive Motion Injury. Unfortunately, many office jobs require that we perform repetitive motions to fulfil our duties. For this reason, RSIs are the most common type of injury found in the office.
Symptoms of RSIs
The first signs of an RSI may be subtle and mild, and the symptoms may appear long after performing the activity. For these reasons, people often ignore the slight aches and pains, but eventually these slight aches and pains can become serious problems down the road if ignored.
• Dull aching which sometimes severe pain increases as day progresses
• Difficulty in prolonged sitting/standing
• Loss of sensation (numbness), especially at night
• Aches/pains which may be worse at night
• Tingling and burning sensations, ‘Pins and needles’ discomfort
• Morning stiffness
Injury to the spine is very common in office environment because constant sitting (desk job) either working on laptop or desktop, spine (lower back) is at risk. Because sitting causes 150%-200% stress on the back while standing just 100%, sitting with laptop is worse than desktop because of poor posture with a laptop. This constant sitting is just like a small drop of water in a big bucket, over a period of time bucket is filled, water splashes out, that is the time when people experience severe pain. Getting treatment just takes out few mugs of water but that little drop (constant sitting) still coming to the bucket. That means pain may reoccur. So what to do…”..Stop The Little Drop”
HOW TO SAVE BACK & NECK FROM SITTING JOB STRESS
Avoid Prolonged Sitting > 45 MINS - Do not sit more than 45 min at a stretch, get up after 45 mins take 2-5 min walk than sit again
Avoid Forward Bending - Ending forward causes double the stress over neck n back, our head wt is around 5 kg which increases to 30 kg if we bend our neck up to 60 degrees. so keep your head in centre of shoulders. If u want to bend n lift something from lower down than bend from knee and hip as well so that stress on spine is less.
Avoid Heavy Weight Lifting - Keep your back as straight as possible while lifting wt or ask for help while lifting heavy wt.
Full Chair Sitting - Try to sit in office chair with hips at the back of chair and back fully supported with backrest, by this your back is fully supported n slightly backwards tilted , keeping stress low on spine . do not sit half-chair.
Laptop To Desktop - With laptop one has to bend forward and work as in laptop screen and keyboard is so close to each other that you can't work without bending forward. So, dissociate screen from the keyboard by using external keyboard (preferably wireless) and external mouse with laptop stand to keep screen at your eye level.
Holding Mobile Away From Body - So that neck does not bend too much for long, keep neck as straight as possible.
Never Work In Bed Of With Bad Posture - As it causes severe stresses on back and neck
Daily Exercise - Daily exercise of neck and back strengthens muscles so that they can take stresses of sitting
The spinal cord is protected by the 33 bones of the spine as it travels from the brain to lower back, with number of spinal nerve travelling across the spine to reach arms and legs .
To exit from the bony tunnel of the spine itself, the spinal nerves travel through holes in the bones which are separated by discs or shock absorbers. If these nerves are squashed or pinched, this can cause pain, numbness, weakness or loss of function in the limbs ( sciatica).
There are many bones running up and down the spine, each separated by a jelly-like core and tough outer fibrous structure called a disc.
The nerves travel to the left and right of the spine through space called an intervertebral foramen. Either these nerves or the spine itself can be compressed by either further growth of bone, instability of the bone, or bulging or bursting of the disc ( disc prolapse ).
After a thorough history and investigation you may be required to have an XRAY to see bones and spinal alignment , sometimes CT scan or MRI is needed to look more closely at the bone and soft tissue structures ( disc and nerves ) in the spine.
Rest, Medication and Physiotherapy, generally, cure most patients for short term. But most pain can reoccur if your ergonomics (working and sitting posture) is not right. Long-term solution of the problem is Exercise and right posture.
Sometimes surgery is required if pain is severe and not responding to conservative therapy.
Certain types of compression require surgery to prevent nerve damage becoming permanent or irreversible. Surgical options include removing excess bone, removing bulging discs, fusion or stiffening of bones to remove instability or replacing dysfunctional discs.
It is very challenging to find operative treatments for chronic pain that offer improved daily functioning. Spinal Cord Stimulation is an excellent pain management method that can be used for patients when their neck or back pain cannot be treated by surgery or other options.
Each year more than 14,000 patients undergo the spinal cord stimulator transplant. The procedure comprises of mild electrical stimulations to the spinal cord. This modifies the nerve activity reducing the pain sensation or sensitivity that reaches the brain.
Neurostimulation therapy recommended by doctors is very effective, especially for chronic pain sufferers. The benefit of this proven therapy is that the pain experienced by the brain is minimized to a great extent. The therapy was designed only after observing how pain is managed by the brain. The therapy approved by the FDA is used to treat the pain caused due to nerve damage in the legs, arms and in the trunk. Spinal cord stimulation for chronic back and neck pain is provided to patients in pain management centers. The staff taking care of patients in these centers are specialized and trained in pain relief -how it occurs and best ways to treat it. Injections are also used to ease the pain.
How to treat back Pain?
Probably the worst pain an individual can experience is back pain, in some cases so severe that it hampers daily life. The treatment options that are used for treating back pain include electrical stimulation to the back and medication to the spine. The most common reason for spinal cord stimulation is failed back surgery. The pain related to the following conditions can also be alleviated through this therapy, scarring of the protective layers of the spinal nerves, painful inflammation and arachnoiditis.
Devices Used for Spinal Cord Stimulation
The devices used for spinal cord stimulation are available in several types but they comprise mainly of three parts. The pulse generator with a battery, a lead wire with 8-32 electrodes and a hand-held remote control that is useful in adjusting the settings of the device, and to switch it on and off. Electrical pulses are delivered to the spinal cord through the electrodes. It is very important that the procedure is carried out by doctors who specialize in pain management or by neurosurgeons. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Pain management is an issue that stares back at mankind, irrespective of the underlying health condition. Whether it is a headache or a back pain, burn or fracture, heart attack or cancer, pain is always a symptom. In some cases like migraines, cancer, etc., the pain is chronic and the patient needs to be constantly on the vigil to know when an attack will ensue. This has also put high pressure on the medical fraternity to identify ways that can provide relief to these people. Various methods have been identified, and one of them is the electrotherapy.
What is done?
A few electrical impulses are directed at the area of the pain using a hand-held device. This is similar to providing electric shocks of mild intensity to the affected area (forehead, low back, neck, etc.). What this does is stimulate the nerve endings, improves circulation and muscle strength and promotes bone growth and tissue repair. The end result of all this is overall improved functioning and pain relief. Depending on the actual condition, the sessions will have to be repeated. In some patients, the electrotherapy is used in conjunction with other therapy so that they can go about their routine exercise and pain relief.
The sessions may also have to be repeated as most often these are used in individuals with chronic pain. They are also helpful in providing relief during the acute attacks.
How does it work?
The most common form of electrotherapy is known as TENS, which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The area to be treated is cleansed with spirit and then small sticky pads are applied through which the electricity is passed. A hand-held device is used, through which electrical impulses are passed to the skin, which stimulates the nerve cells to provide relief from pain. It causes a vibrating and tingling sensation in the treated area. It is believed that it blocks the nerve impulses and therefore provides pain relief. Another theory states that they promote the release of endorphins which are natural painkillers; it is also very effective in case of migraine and sciatica and neck pain where the chronic pain is coupled with acute spurts.
With narcotic painkillers having various side effects, techniques like electrotherapy are gaining popularity. A small catch also is that it does not work for everybody and in most people with back pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines, requires repeat sessions for relief. The cost of each session also needs to be considered against the extent of relief achieved. However, for those whom it works, it is a very good technique for chronic pain control. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Having a neck pain one of these days is not an uncommon fact. With long hours of sitting stiffly in front of laptops, television, computers etc., it has surely contributed to many of you getting regular neck pains. But apart from digitally generated neck pains, there are several other factors, which contribute to headaches, with mild to chronic intensity.
Some of them are discussed below:
There are several treatments for your neck pain. At times, simple massages might help and at times you need to opt for proper medicines or homeopathy. Here are some of the remedies for relieving yourself of the neck pains:
These are some of the common causes and treatments of neck pain. You should not suffer from prolonged neck pain. It is advisable to visit a medical practitioner as soon as possible.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The neck and back are closely related, and pain in one area can easily affect the other. Both neck and back pain have become lifestyle problems, due to prolonged sitting and incorrect working postures. Treating one area can help in subtly treating the other and also reduce the onset of pain.
Pain in neck and back can be due to strained muscles, wrong posture, injury or stress due to knots in muscles and can be easily treated with a number of ways such as physical therapy, muscle relaxants and trigger point injection. Also, facet joint arthritis occurs due to degeneration of joints in elderly, excessive strain in some type of jobs or injury. Physical therapy along with injection in the nerves that carry a message from these joints to the brain along with medications that can numb sensation and Radiofrequency Rhizotomy for long-term relief is performed by pain specialists. Disc prolapse of neck/ lumbar vertebrae can also cause back pain.
Read on to know the best ways to manage back and neck pain, as the following techniques work for both.
What is Neck Pain?
What causes neck pain?