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Neck Pain Tips

Back & Neck Pain - How To Administer It?

Back & Neck Pain - How To Administer It?

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.

  • Ice and heat therapy: Alternating heat and ice therapy can help reduce pain. It helps by reducing the sensation of pain and improving blood flow, thereby providing relief.
  • Physical therapy: Exercising and stretching, whether as a preventive measure or as a part of therapy, can work wonders. It improves the agility of the bones and tendons, improves movement, reduces stiffness, and relieves pain. A program should be drawn up based on the patient’s overall health condition and symptoms. Patients should be monitored for any improvements or changes in symptoms.
  • Pain medication: When nothing else works, then pain medications become the next course of action. These can be taken for immediate relief, but cannot treat the pain permanently.
  • Steroids: Injecting corticosteroids into the bone and joint spaces can help with acute pain management.
  • Collar or brace: A neck collar or brace is used to keep the neck in place to reduce movement and provide support, thereby, it helps in reducing pain.
  • Acupuncture: Each area has associated pressure points in the body. These pressure points are identified and needles are applied to provide relief from pain.
  • Massage: The Massage can help by stimulating tissues, improve blood flow and also to relax muscles. The herbal oils that are used provide added benefit too, and so periodic massages are being widely used for pain management of neck and back.
  • Chiropractic therapy: This involves manipulation of the spinal cord with the belief that the spinal cord could be incorrectly settled. The cord is manipulated to get it to the correct location, thereby relieving pain and stiffness and improving movement
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation): The nerve in the affected area is stimulated by electrical impulses, thereby providing pain relief. This needs to be repeated at frequent intervals and is often reserved for acute cases.
  • Surgery: Often, used as a last resort, where all other measures have failed. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the cause is identified and then surgery planned.
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Neck Pain - Effective Ways To Deal With It!

Neck Pain - Effective Ways To Deal With It!

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:

  • Take it easy: If you have a busy and hectic life, then take it easy. Living with cervical disc diseases can lead to an increase in the neck pain; thus cutting down on activities helps. A comfortable position should be observed while resting. If need be then a pillow can be placed under the neck.
  • Apply Cold/Heat Pack: There is always a confusion regarding whether a cold or a hot pack is to be used. The recommendation is to use ice or cold pack for the first 24 to 48 hours of the injury, so that the swelling subsides. This should then be followed by hot fermentation in order to improve the muscle stiffness and also loosen them. But in case of a cervical disc disease neither cold nor heat penetrates the tissue to relieve inflammation, so it is best to use the one which feels better. Whichever, pack is chosen it should only be used for 20 minutes and then left for 40 minutes. Take care and do not use ice or heat directly against the skin. 
  • Stretch: Stretching exercises should be done in order to improve the flexibility and relieve pain in the neck. Exercises can be performed after warming up of the muscles by a warm towel or bath. Here are a few simple stretches for cervical disc disease that you can do at home:
  • Move the neck: As per the study by the American Medical Association, women who had neck pain got relief when they did exercises using light weight and resistance bands. This increased their endurance and strength of the neck muscles. Also, 30 minutes of exercise in the form of biking, walking, swimming, and biking is recommended to improve the blood flow.
  • Maintain the posture of the neck: A bad posture can cause a neck pain. Every time while standing, sitting, walking, lifting the posture should be kept in mind. The head and neck should be kept straight and the back should be supported in order to avoid neck pains.
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11 Tips To Avoid Neck/Back Pain While Working On Computer!

11 Tips To Avoid Neck/Back Pain While Working On Computer!

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!

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Cervical Pain - Have Physiotherapy At Your Rescue!

Cervical Pain - Have Physiotherapy At Your Rescue!

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-

  1. Injury to neck muscles-like sprains, crampsInjury to neck joint
  2. Bone pathologies- like osteoporosis and  spondylitis 
  3. Nerve-related diseases- like cervical radiculopathy
  4. Disc-related diseases- like bulging, herniated disc
  5. Migraine
  6. Vertigo  
  7. Systemic diseases- like RA, ankylosing spondylitis

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-

  1. Hot and cold therapies: Cold therapy is beneficial because it slows down the circulation. Thus it helps to reduce inflammation, pain and muscle spasm. Heat therapy increases the blood flow to the affected area which helps by increasing oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. It also removes the waste products created by muscle spasm. Thus, helping in healing.  
  2. Deep tissue massage: In this massage, the therapist uses direct pressure and friction to decrease the tension in your soft tissues, muscles and ligaments. This is the main objective of this treatment. The tension on neck muscles is build up due to the daily heavy activities.
  3. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): This machine works on nerve stimulation for reducing the tingling, paresthesia and numbness.
  4. Ultrasound: Ultrasound also increases the blood circulation to the affected part, which helps to reduce swelling, stiffness, pain, muscle spasms and cramping.  
  5. Traction: In this, the spine is stretched and mobilized so that you get less pain and then the movement becomes easier. This can be done manually or by using a traction device.  

Active treatment- This mainly includes all the exercises which improve your flexibility, strength, stability, and range of motion.  

  1. Flexibility exercises
  2. Neck flexion and extension
  3. Head tilt towards the left and right side
  4. Neck rotation, retraction
  5. Shoulder rolls Isometric exercises (Here resistance is applied by your hand).
  6. Neck extension, flexion
  7. Side bending of the head
  8. Stretching exercises-Neck stretching
  9. Sternocleidomastoid stretch 

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

Do’s

  1. Pain in the neck sleep in a straight position by spreading the arms sideways
  2. Use a small pillow i.e. Not more than 3-4 inches thickness
  3. Sit erect and use neck in erect posture in all your jobs
  4. Take rest or move about once in 1-2 hours in case of working in a constant position
  5. Rest your wrist on a table or the elbow on the chair while using the computer
  6. Maintain good posture while reading or working with computers
  7. Always work comfortably while doing any job
  8. Wear collar while travelling to avoid pain and deterioration

Don’ts

  1. Don’t put hands under the head while sleeping
  2. Don’t lift any heavy weight or do any strenuous exercises
  3. Don’t massage violently with analgesics, since it can aggravate the complaint
  4. Don’t use traction or collar or painkillers or drugs continuously
  5. Avoid cold exposures and cold bath
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Struggling With Neck Pain - Here's How You Can Manage It!

Struggling With Neck Pain - Here's How You Can Manage It!

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).

• Medical conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Spondylosis, Disc bulges, and nerve compression

• 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

• The pain is accompanied by headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, difficulty in eating food, weight loss, urinary or bowel disorder.

• 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.

• Investigations- this may involve imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, CT scans, Nerve conduction studies, Electromyography and blood tests.

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

  • Neck joint injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Epidurals
  • Radiofrequency procedures

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.

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Benefits Of Physiotherapy!

Benefits Of Physiotherapy!

Is an unhealthy lifestyle causing neck and shoulder pain?

Right physiotherapy treatment can help in relieving stress and increasing activeness. It helps to decrease aches and pains related to neck and shoulder problems.

Neck Pain - How To Manage It?

Neck Pain - How To Manage It?

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:

  1. While an ice compress is good for acute pain, heat therapy is recommended for more chronic pain. Use a warming cushion on a low or medium setting for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours. Take a warm shower instead of one of the sessions. You can purchase single-use heat wraps that last up to 8 hours. Use an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Get back to your typical day-by-day exercises when you can. Movement helps your muscles stay solid. Stay away from tiring exercises like lifting and sports that can increase the pain and cause stiffness. Do stretching and neck strengthening activities to keep your neck flexible, strong and prevent stiffness. Stay away from or change any exercises that might bring about your neck pain, for example, sitting in front of your computers or television sets for a long time or doing an excess of overhead work at once. Delicately back rub or rub the region to alleviate pain and energize your bloodstream. Try not to rub the damaged area in case it causes pain. Nonprescription creams or gels, may give pain relief.
  3. It can also be treated with the help of pain relievers 
    • Acetaminophen, (for example, Tylenol) can soothe the pain. 
    • Nonsteroidal calming medicines, ibuprofen, (for example, Advil) and naproxen, (for example, Aleve), can ease pain and reduce swelling.
  4. Practice good and healthy habits to improve your lifestyle.
  5. Attempt to decrease anxiety and pressure at work and at home.
  6. Practice exercises that offer relaxation.
  7. Get gentle back rubs in intervals.
  8. Quit smoking. Smoking lowers down healing because it diminishes blood supply and delays tissue repair.
  9. Exercise regularly, including aerobics and walking.
  10. Practice a good posture.

Causes And Treatment Of Neck Pain!

Causes And Treatment Of Neck Pain!

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.

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Whiplash Injury - Know Signs Of It!

Whiplash Injury - Know Signs Of It!

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:

  1. Pain, diminished scope of movement, and snugness in the neck. The muscles may feel hard or stiff.
  2. Pain while shaking your head from side to side or backward and forward.
  3. Pain or stiffness while moving your arms to move your shoulder.
  4. Delicate to touch.

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:

  1. Ice your neck to lessen the pain and swelling when you can after the harm. Do it for 15 minutes every three to four hours for two to three days. Wrap the ice in a thin towel or material to avoid damage to the skin.
  2. Take painkillers or different medications, as suggested by your specialist. Non-steroidal mitigating drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) will help in relieving the pain and swelling.
  3. Use a neck prop or neckline to give support, if your specialist prescribes it. However, they are not suggested for the long-term since they can easily stiffen the muscles in your neck even more.
  4. Apply a heating pad to your neck. However, do so after simply following two to three days of icing it first. Use warmth on your neck only after the underlying swelling has gone down.
  5. Different medications, with a back rub, may likewise offer assistance.

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.

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Neck Pain - How To Subdue It?

Neck Pain - How To Subdue It?

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!

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