Pain that occurs in the region of neck is a common disorder that affects most of the people at one time or the other.
Neck pain, although felt in the neck, can be caused by numerous other spinal issues. Neck pain may arise due to muscular tightness in both the neck and upper back. Joint disruption in the neck creates pain, as does joint disruption in the upper back.
Anatomy of Neck :
The head is supported by the lower neck and upper back, and it is these areas that commonly cause neck pain. The top three joints in the neck allow for most movement of neck and head. The lower joints in the neck and those of the upper back create a supportive structure for the head to sit on. If this support system is affected adversely, then the muscles in the area will tighten, leading to neck pain.
Types of neck pain:
Neck pain can be classified into three types namely:
1. Acute neck pain: Sudden & severe pain.
2. Chronic neck pain: Long lasting low pain
3. Referred neck pain: Pain referred to some other region.
* Spondylosis - Degenerative arthritis.
* Spinal stenosis – Narrowing of the spinal canal.
* Spinal disc herniation - Protruding or bulging or prolapse of the discs.
* Severe degeneration - usually as a result of past injuries or whiplash accidents.
* Stress – physical and emotional stresses.
* Prolonged postures – many people fall asleep on sofas and chairs and wake with sore necks
* Minor injuries and falls – car accidents, sporting events and day to day minor injuries
* Referred pain – mostly from upper back problems
* Over-use – muscular strain is one of the most common causes
Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck. Other symptoms associated with some forms of neck pain include numbness, tingling, tenderness, sharp shooting pain, fullness, difficulty swallowing, pulsations, swishing sounds in the head, dizziness or lightheadedness, and gland swelling.
X-ray, CAT scan, Bone scan, MRI scan may be required to know the cause for neck pain.
There are several methods of treatments available depending upon the type of pain & cause of the pain, They are:
Medicines : Local injections of cortisone or anesthetics, topical anesthetic creams, topical pain patches, muscle relaxants & analgesics.
Exercises : There are several simple neck stretching exercises. They may help relax your neck muscles and provide some neck pain relief.
Side to Side Tilt: Tilt your head to one side, hold it for few seconds & then tilt to the opposite side, return your head to center. Repeat it for 5-10 times daily.
Side to Side Rotation: Rotate your head to right & then to left. Repeat it for 5-10 times daily.
Front to Back Tilt: Bend towards back & then to front. Repeat it 5-10 times daily.
Clockwise: Rotate the head in clockwise direction for a full round. Let the head rotate freely & fully over the thorax.
Anti-Clockwise: Rotate the head in anti-clockwise direction for a full round. Let the head rotate freely & fully over the thorax.
Resistance Exercise: Try to push your head forward, backward, to left & to right with the help of your hand. Repeat it 5-10 times daily.
Yoga: There are several asanas which are practiced to get relief from neck pain. This include -
Ananthasana: In this asana the person lie down & turns to one side & straightens one leg towards ceiling with the help of the same side hand. The posture is repeated on the other side.
Navasana: Here the person takes the shape of the boat from lying down posture. In this asana lie down & slightly raise up by keeping arms parallel to the legs. Breathe normally.
Sarvangasana: Here the person stands on the shoulder. Lie down slowly, raise the legs up.Lift the trunk, hips with the support of the hands. Let the elbows rest on the ground.
Halasana: Here the person takes the shape of the plough. Lie down bring the feet at an angle above the head. Keep the hands behind the toes to the floor keeping the knees straight.
Sethubanda Sarvangasana: Here the person takes the shape of the bridge pose. Lie down bend the knees & bring the feet close towards the hip. Keeping the hands near the feet slightly lift the hips above the floor.
Mathyasana: Here the person takes the shape of the fish. Sit with the legs straight, keep the right foot over the left leg & stand it outside left hip. The right knee will point the ceiling.
Thrikonasa: Here the person takes the shape of various triangles side bending to one pose. Stand with feet apart, stretch right arm towards your right ear, left hand down the left leg. Bend to the left & look at the right hand.
Ardha Chakrasana: Here the person takes the shape of Half wheel. Lie down keep feet far apart & hands on hips & slowly arch backward. Keep weight on the knees. Raise arms over & behind head & drop back onto hands.
Bhujangasana: Here the person takes the shape of the Cobra with a hood raised. Lie down raise the head & chest upwards. Tighten the legs and leave the weight on the hands & knees. Look towards the ceiling.
Dhanurasana: Here the person takes the shape of the bow. Lie down bend knees & hold the ankles. Pull the hands & push with the legs, knees together till the trunk forms an arc shape with stomach on the floor.
Ustrasana: Here the person takes the shape of the neck of a camel. Bend the legs backward, raise the trunk bend the body backwards & bring the hands on the heels.
Surgery : Severe neck pains that cannot be cured by above techniques & treatment may require surgery. Prevention :
* Keep a good posture at all times.
* When you lie down, try not to use more than one pillow.
* Do not lie on your stomach.
* Do not do any quick neck movements.
* xercise along with a few lifestyle changes.
* Regular Exercises, Yoga, good posture may keep you away from neck pain.
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