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.
The most common cause of neck pain can be cervical disc disease. It is generally caused by the abnormality of the disc that is the cushion present between the vertebrae. The disc can get damaged because of arthritis or any unknown cause. When damaged, it usually leads to inflammation or spasm of the muscles leading to neck pain.
There are a number of pain medications, traction exercises, and physical therapy for minimizing the neck pain. However, these home based remedies help in relieving pain along with a speedy recovery:
Most of us are working on computers - Desktop or laptop for long-duration i.e. 4-10 hours a day. More hours you work, more are the chances of getting neck pain or back pain if you are not sitting in the right posture.
Here are a few tips:
1. While sitting on the chair, Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair.
2. Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than, your hips.
3. Adjust the back of the chair to make sure your upper and lower back are supported. Use inflatable cushions or small pillows if necessary.
4. Adjust the height of armrests (if fitted) so that your elbow is supported and shoulders are relaxed. If your armrests are causing trouble, remove them.
5. Adjust the center of computer screen directly in front of you, above your keyboard and adjust the angle (preferably perpendicular to the light source) to reduce glare on your eyes.
6. Position the top of the screen approximately 2-3” above seated eye level.
7. Sit at least an arm’s length away from the screen and then adjust the distance for your vision.
8. Position the documents directly in front of you, between the screen and the keyboard, using an in-line copy stand or with document holder positioned adjacent to the screen.
9. Place your telephone within easy reach. Use headsets and speakerphone to eliminate repeated moving to pick up the phone.
10. Take short 1-2 minute stretch breaks every 30-45 minutes.
11. Avoid eye fatigue by resting and refocusing your eyes periodically. Look away from the monitor and focus on something in the distance.
Follow these tips and remain healthy and pain-free!
Cervical or Neck pain is very common now a day. It can affect anybody in their lifetime. Earlier it was more common in old age but now due to increased working hours and lack of rest and exercise it’s majorly seen in young age also. Cervical pain can be due to following reasons-
How Physiotherapy Helps In Cervical Pain?
Physiotherapy strengthens your neck muscles and vertebrae by doing stretching, exercises and other treatments. It relieves the stiffness and pain, increases the range of motion, mobility and also improves your posture. That’s why it is recommended in most of the cases, by your physician.
Physiotherapy includes two treatments - Passive and Active.
Passive treatment- It helps to relax your body and it also prepares your body for therapeutic exercise. It includes-
Active treatment- This mainly includes all the exercises which improve your flexibility, strength, stability, and range of motion.
The plan of treatment may differ with the case. So, it’s advised to consult the physiotherapist for correct treatment.
Do's and don'ts in Cervical Pain
Neck pain and stiffness are common sources of discomfort and pain in all ages and with changing lifestyles the incidence is rising. Besides the pain, restriction of neck movements can make routine daily such as driving, working on computers a challenge. The neck bones and muscles are important as they not only give support to the head but also ensure free and unrestricted movement.
Stiff neck and neck pain can be an amalgamation of various factors such as
• Posture and Lifestyle: Our professional commitments often demand spending hours before the computer. The sedentary lifestyle can contribute to neck pain and stiffness. Sitting in an unnatural position for long often results in muscle pull (tension) and strain.
• Incorrect sleeping posture
• Neck injury during exercise or accident. It may be associated with Whiplash injury (a condition which involves sudden jerking the head as when a car is hit from behind).
• Increased Stress levels
Seek early medical assistance in case -
• The condition is not resolving and/or increase in severity
• The pain and stiffness are sudden and unexplained
• Symptoms start after an injury/ trauma
• Pain is extending to involve arms/ legs
• A lump/ swelling (in the neck) accompanied by pain and stiffness
• You have other medical problems such as cancer, reduced immunity, etc
Diagnosis and treatment -
Process for the diagnosis of the underlying condition involves -
• Taking a detailed history.
• Physical examination.
Depending on the underlying condition and its severity, the doctor will discuss with you the possible treatment options and this may include -
1. Simple measures such as the use of ice packs or heat pads (avoid very high temperature on the affected area every 2-3 hours for 15-20 minutes) and gentle massage (can temporarily help relieve the pain and stiffness).
2. Medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, local gets, nerve pain medications, opioids are often used to provide relief.
3. Interventions/ Injections: these are non-invasive daycare options which can provide effective, lasting relief. Examples include
4. Physiotherapy: Neck exercises and stretching play a pivotal role in strengthening the neck muscles. This is best done under expert guidance.
5. Alternative therapy such as Acupuncture
6. Surgery may be considered for some serious/ specific conditions.
Your neck is made of vertebrae that stretch out from the skull to the upper body. Cervical discs that lie between the bones absorb shocks. The bones, tendons, and muscles of your neck support your head and allow movement. Any injuries, swelling or damage can bring about neck pain or even stiffness.
Many individuals experience stiffness or neck pain once in a while. Usually, this occurs due to poor posture. At times, neck pain is brought on by injury from a fall, playing sports or whiplash. More often than not, neck pain is a normal condition and can be healed within a couple of days. Now and again, neck pain can show serious injury or damage and require a specialist's consideration. In case you have neck pain that lasts persistently for over a week, is serious, or is joined by different side effects, look for medicinal attention quickly.
Regardless of the possibility that you require medical treatment, for example, prescribed medicines for your neck pain, the following treatment measures will speed your recovery:
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:
In case the following symptoms show-up, you need to see a doctor:
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:
Here are some of the conventional home treatment methods can be tried at home:
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.
A whiplash injury usually occurs when your neck gets strained after an accident that causes it to jerk. In spite of the fact that it is normally connected with car crashes, any effect or blow that causes your neck or head to jerk forward or backwards can cause a whiplash injury. The sudden shock or force extends and tears the muscles and ligaments in your neck.
Whiplash is usually caused by vehicular accidents. After the effect, the lower cervical vertebrae are constrained into a place of hyperextension while the upper cervical vertebrae are in a hyperflexed position. This leads to an irregular S-shaped in the cervical spine.
The pain of whiplash is regularly difficult to overlook. The symptoms of a whiplash injury may include the following:
Headache at the base of the skull.
Now and again, pain from the whiplash is very common. In different cases, it can take about a few hours to days before your neck starts to hurt. Over a course of time, a whiplash can be easily healed on its own. To help with the recovery, one needs to consider the following treatments:
The time of recovery relies upon how serious your whiplash is. Most cases are relieved in a couple of days. However, other neck strains may take weeks or longer to recover. Keep in mind that everybody recovers at a different pace.
Once the intense indications of neck strain are gone, your specialist will most likely require you to begin exercising. This will make your neck muscles more flexible and stronger. It will help you both recover and decrease the chances of straining your neck again later on.
Pain in the neck is not something which is pleasant to have in both the metaphorical and the literal ways. That being said, however, if a person does have it, one would wish to have the pain alleviated and there are quite a lot of tried and tested ways to go about making sure that that is done!
To start with, there is a warm shower. While a person may take a warm shower on a daily basis as it is quite relaxing. It can be said that taking a warm shower can have a pretty beneficial impact especially when a person has neck pain. As a matter of fact, it is true that it is one of the simplest solutions that a person can possibly find.
It is important to keep in mind that when there is nagging neck pain, just keeping sources of heat on the affected area will not help as much as if hot and cold sources were interspersed on the area. The effect, in this case, can be said to be enhanced. In fact, it would be good for a person who has a neck pain to make sure that he or she applies an ice pack to the area of the neck where they are experiencing the pain every two or three hours. This will make sure the level of aggravation will come down.
While there is a range of things which have the potential to cause neck pain, once a person does have it, it does make a fair amount of sense to check the height of the pillow that he or she sleeps on. This is due to the fact that if a pillow is too high or too hard, it can be a very reliable source of trouble by the way of neck pain!
Now, of course, a person who has a neck pain is really not expected to exist with limited mobility forever! That being said, it is important to only gradually increase the level of activity after a period of rest which is sufficient, as per the case.
Neck pain is surely something which can really reduce the ease at which a person enjoys his or her life however if the right steps are taken by him or her, then there is no reason to doubt that he or she will be up and running in no time at all.
If pain persists despite all these precautions, consult the orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible for further management!