Learn More About Neck Pain
Neck pain is becoming increasingly more common and will impact the majority of people at some point in their lives. While most people think that neck pain is most commonly caused by a sudden and violent movement in actuality neck pain is typically caused by repetitive movement that strains the ligaments in the neck. Things such as poor posture and poor sleeping positions are the usual causes for this repetitive movement that can ultimately lead to you suffering from neck pain.
When it comes to causes for sprains and strains in the neck, auto accidents and sports injuries are commonly responsible. Other less violent and traumatic causes such as reaching, pushing, pulling, moving heavy objects and falls can also trigger these problems. Most commonly, sprains and strains are not the result of any single event but rather from a consistent overloading of the muscles.
Tendons and ligaments are able to manage small isolated stressors quite well, but repetitive challenges lead to injury in much the same way that constantly bending a piece of copper wire will cause it to break. Some common causes of these less acute types of cervical sprain/strain injuries include bad posture, poor workstations, repetitive movements, prolonged overhead activity, sedentary lifestyles, improper sleep positions, poor bra support and obesity.
What makes sprains as well as strains of your muscles so potentially harmful is the fact that they cause your normal healthy elastic tissue to be replaced with less elastic "scar tissue". If you experience a sprain or strain it is best to seek appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
Depending upon the severity of your injury, you may need to reduce your activity for a period of time, especially movements or activities that cause pain. When possible your should try and avoid heavy lifting and take frequent breaks from prolonged activity, particularly overhead activity. Following acute injuries, it can be beneficial if you can apply ice for 10-15 minutes each hour. Heat is also known to be helpful after several days or for more chronic types of pain. Ask your doctor for specific ice/heat recommendations. Some patients report partial relief from sports-creams.
Symptoms from a sprain/strain may begin abruptly but more often than not they will develop slowly and gradually over time. Complaints often include dull neck pain that becomes sharper when you move your neck and head. Many people believe that rest may relieve your symptoms, but it actually often leads to stiffness. The pain is often centered in the back of your neck but it is also known to spread to your shoulders or between your shoulder blades.
Tension headaches are also known to accompany neck injuries. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any signs of a more serious injury, including a severe or "different" headache, loss of consciousness, confusion or "fogginess", difficulty concentrating, dizziness, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, change in vision, nausea or vomiting, numbness or tingling in your arms or face, weakness or clumsiness in your arms and hands, decreased bowel or bladder control or fever.
Above all it is essential to seek appropriate treatment to recover from your neck pain.