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Neck Pain: Why It Happens And How It Is Treated?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Kunal Shah 89% (64 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, Spine Fellowship
Orthopedic Doctor, Mumbai  •  11 years experience
Neck Pain: Why It Happens And How It Is Treated?

The neck consists of vertebrae that extend from our upper torso to the skull. It further has cervical disks that absorb any kind of shock between the bones and prevent them from breaking. The muscles, bones and ligaments present in our neck support the head. Any kind of abnormalities and injuries can be a cause for neck pain. These include:

  1. Muscle tension - This is usually caused by:
    • • A poor posture
    • • Working at a desk or in front of the computer for too long
    • • Sleeping in a bad position
    • • Jerking your head during a physical activity or sport.
  2. Injury: The neck is highly vulnerable to injuries especially during car accidents, sports and falls. An injury in the neck occurs when the ligaments present inside it start to move out of their usual positions or range. It happens when you have had a whiplash of your head.
  3. Heart attackIn some cases, neck pain can also be a symptom of a heart attack at times. However, it is usually combined with other symptoms when it shows up. These is:
  4. MeningitisWhen the tissue surrounding the back or the neck starts to get swollen, it is known as meningitis. It can be fatal at times and should be considered a medical emergency.

In case the following symptoms show-up, you need to see a doctor:

  1. Nausea
  2. Lump in the neck
  3. Severe neck pain without cause
  4. Swollen glands
  5. Weakness
  6. Numbness
  7. Tingling sensations all over the body
  8. Trouble breathing or swallowing
  9. Heavy headaches

How is neck pain treated?
The first step towards the treatment of neck pain is determining the cause of the pain. this can be determined by:

  1. Blood tests
  2. X-rays
  3. CT scans
  4. Electromyography that allows your doctor to check how healthy your muscles are
  5. Lumbar puncture or a spinal tap, which might be a little painful

Here are some of the conventional home treatment methods can be tried at home:

  • Applying cold and hot pads for pain relief
  • Exercising, mainly stretching
  • A neck collar of your size
  • Traction
  • Antibiotics if recommended
  • Injections
  • Pain medications
  • Better sleeping postures
  • Maintaining a good posture

Always take good care of your health as well as fitness. Make sure that you sit and stand in proper postures and do not spend your entire day at a desk or in front of a computer. Even if you have to, have brief exercising or stretching sessions in between breaks. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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