It is known as neck pain, any pain that occurs in the cervical area and can cause mild discomfort or muscle pain so intense that it can reach radiate to the back, shoulders, and arms. It is believed that most people will experience neck pain at some point in their life. However, women are more likely to suffer from it than men. When the pain appears suddenly, it is considered acute and intense, known as acute neck pain; likewise, when the pain has lasted several months, it is called chronic neck pain.
Neck pain or Cervicalgia is a prevalent condition caused by a muscle injury during a traffic accident and even by sleeping in the wrong position. However, sometimes this discomfort is a characteristic symptom of some pathologies that directly affect the cervical region, such as a herniated disc. To learn more about Cervicalgia: causes, symptoms, and treatment, we invite you to read this article by FastlyHeal carefully.
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Causes of Cervicalgia
Why does my neck hurt? It is the question that is often asked by those people who spend eight hours sitting in front of a computer, who do not do physical activity, and who, in their free time, prefer to read, play video games or watch television. All the activities mentioned above usually cause neck pain since the posture that we typically use to work or to rest is not the most suitable for our neck, because it stimulates the stiffness of the vertebrae and muscles, causing a tension that can generate a muscle spasm, which is considered the trigger for neck pain.
However, neck pain is much more than a consequence of poor body prostration; a spasm can occur due to other injuries, and, sometimes, some pathologies are responsible for this discomfort. The leading causes of neck pain are:
- Trauma, muscle strain, and vision disturbances can cause involuntary tension in the neck muscles, which usually block the cervical vertebrae, causing stiffness and severe pain.
- Cervical osteoarthritis. When a person presents blockage in the cervical vertebrae, either due to a whiplash injury or poor posture, and said discomfort is not treated in time or in the correct way, there is wear of said vertebrae that is called cervical arthrosis, a pathology that does leave unattended can cause a herniated disc. In these cases, neck pain is much more intense and becomes chronic; it lasts over time and can radiate to the arms.
- Muscle contracture . As its name implies, it is an involuntary and sustained muscle contraction over time that injures the muscle, producing a kind of palpable knot due to excessive and prolonged tension.
- Whiplash . This injury occurs due to the cervical area’s impact during the sudden movement (back and forth) exerted by the head in a car accident. To treat this impact, which may or may not have bone damage, it is necessary to immobilize the neck for at least a month using a collar. The immobilization of the neck vertebrae causes what is known as rectification of the cervical, which is nothing more than the loss of the natural curvature of this part of the spine due to excessive stiffness.
- Stress . Many people with constant neck pain are unaware that stress may be the main trigger for this symptom. And it is that stress unbalances the functioning of some organs, such as the liver, which when they are not working correctly are altered and cause spasms in the neck. In addition, stress causes us to be in tension and muscular contraction unconsciously.
- Diseases . Inflammatory pathologies such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
Symptoms of Cervicalgia
Depending on the intensity of the color, the cause, and the time that the discomfort has been present, the symptoms of neck pain can vary and even worsen. The most common are:
- Neck Pain. The pain is different from torticollis. It is generally recognized because it produces tension and stiffness, is sharpened to the touch, and maybe relieved when the neck is pulled fully back, which should be avoided further to compromise the normal curvature of this neck area. Column.
- Pain in the trapezius . When neck pain is constant and intense, it usually radiates to the upper part of the shoulders, better known as the trapezius. This symptom is prevalent in those who experience neck pain due to stress or poor posture since all tension is concentrated in this area.
- Paresthesias . These manifestations are widespread when neck pain results from a cervical contracture. The tingling sensation in the neck and extremities is known as paresthesias.
- Limitations in mobility. When the pain is very severe, the person with neck pain may have difficulty turning the neck sideways, up, and down. With therapy and medications, mobility can be progressively restored.
- Headache . Tension and wear on the neck vertebrae can cause severe headaches and jaw pain due to the pressure on the nerves in these areas.
- Lightheadedness . In general, the rectification of the spine can cause instability in people when getting out of bed or making sudden movements.
- Giddiness . Cervical inflammation can cause balance disturbances, making the person feel very unstable when going downstairs.
Treatment of neck pain
The first thing to do to prescribe a treatment for neck pain is to diagnose the pathology causing the neck pain. For this, the person must be cared for by a neurologist, who will be in charge of examining the spine and will request the performance of some imaging tests such as computed tomography of the neck or magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical. Once the health of the cervical vertebrae is observed and what is causing the discomfort is determined, the medical specialist will prescribe a series of anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants improve pain and help regain full mobility.
However, in most cases, the primary treatment for this condition, whatever its cause, is based on a series of physical therapy sessions, so a physical therapist will also need to be seen to evaluate the injury and determine how many therapies are necessary to cure neck pain. Physiotherapy therapies usually include relaxing massages, electricity, applying heat and cold, and performing a series of guided exercises in which the neck is slowly mobilized to increase its mobility, reduce pain, and gradually eliminate the knots that may be present in the muscles. Being constant in the therapies and practicing the exercises at home is very important for a speedy recovery. In the following article, you can see the best activities to relax the cervicals.
Likewise, it is essential to highlight that once a person begins to present episodes of neck pain resulting from rectification of the spine or a whiplash, neck pain becomes a symptom that will accompany him for his whole life since recovery total in total these cases is unlikely. Therefore, stretching, physical therapy, and medications can accompany the person in time.
Tips to improve neck pain
- Check that the height of the work chair is recommended: the seat should never be higher than the desk.
- When bending down to pick up an object, the idea is to bend the knees and avoid completely bending the entire sword down.
- Avoid throwing your neck back in search of relief.
- Using a cervical pillow to sleep is a great help to rest in the correct posture.
- Being aware of the tension in our shoulders can help us relax and keep them down.
- If neck pain results from stress, it is necessary to look for alternatives to cope with the worries. Exercise and meditation are helpful.
- Chairs with a backrest and neck support should always be used.
In addition, we recommend that you discover suitable natural treatments for this condition by consulting the article Home remedies for cervical pain.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Cervicalgia: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, Joints and Muscles .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.