Neck pain is a fairly common complaint that has a variety of causes. It can result from muscle strain, an injury, or a medical condition. If you have severe pain or chronic pain, then you'll want to see your doctor for an evaluation. Here are some things that might help with your neck pain:
Uncover The Cause
Try to figure out what's causing the pain so you can stop the activity. It might be from carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder or the way you position your head on pillows at night. Neck pain can also result from working on a computer for long stretches when a monitor is too high or too low. All these actions put a strain on the muscles that affect your neck, and this causes pain. If you stop the activity, your pain should clear up in several days.
Your doctor may want to run tests to determine what's going on with your neck. This includes imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan. These tests pick up on abnormalities in your nerves, spine, or muscles that could cause pain. If you have a condition such as arthritis or nerve compression, your doctor will be able to begin the proper treatment that brings relief. This might include medication to reduce inflammation and pain. You might receive oral medications or injections into your neck if your pain is severe enough.
When you have neck pain, it often hurts more when you move your head. Your doctor might want you to wear a foam collar for a short period, so your neck has time to heal, and so you hold your neck still to prevent pain. Foam collars are only used for short periods because if you use one too long, your neck muscles become weak and are at risk of injury. A similar option that might be necessary is traction. Neck traction pulls the vertebrae in your neck apart slightly so pressure on your nerve is reduced.
Receive Physical Therapy
If your neck pain is chronic and caused from poor posture or carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, then one side of your neck could have overdeveloped muscles. This can pull your neck out of alignment and put a strain on weaker muscles. A physical therapist can teach you stretches and exercises that help your neck recover. Also, you can learn exercises that help promote good posture. You'll want to learn how to sit at work and how to sleep properly. You may need to invest in a neck pillow and rearrange your office desk so you can relieve strain on your neck.
Contact a company like Physical Therapy at ACAC for more information and assistance.