Does the Chronic Neck Pain You’re Suffering From Have You Worried? Top 9 Questions That Have People Concerned About Neck Pain
Are you tired of suffering from chronic neck pain?
Do you find it difficult to complete your daily activities due to the discomfort?
If so, you’re not alone. Neck pain is a common problem that affects millions of people, especially those between the ages of 30 to 65. But there’s good news – effective treatment options are available that can help alleviate pain and improve quality of life. Below are 9 of the most common questions about neck pain.
- Who gets neck pain?
- What causes neck pain?
- What are symptoms of neck pain?
- Is A Pinched Nerve Causing My Neck Pain?
- What are treatment options for neck pain?
- Are there home remedies for neck pain?
- Do I need an X-Ray or MRI?
- I have neck pain, do I need surgery?
- What if my neck pain isn’t getting better?
Who Gets Neck Pain?
Neck pain is a very common problem. It’s the fourth leading cause of years lived with disability globally and it is estimated that 15 to 20% of the population experiences neck pain at any given time. The prevalence increases with age, and peaks between 30 to 50 years of age, which coincides with our peak working lives.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Poor posture, spending too much time sitting at a desk or computer, and stress are just a few of the many factors that can contribute to neck pain. Age-related changes such as osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and herniated discs can also cause chronic neck pain. Injury or trauma to the neck, such as whiplash from a car accident, can also lead to acute or chronic neck pain.
What are symptoms of neck pain?
Neck pain can manifest itself in various ways, and the symptoms experienced may vary from person to person. Localized pain and discomfort in the neck region, whether it is aching, sharp or throbbing in nature can vary in intensity from mild to severe. The pain can vary depending on certain movements, and there may even be a noticeable loss of mobility or stiffness. There’s also the potential to experience headaches that can radiate or even radiating pain into the shoulder or down the arm.
Is A Pinched Nerve Causing My Neck Pain?
This is often the main assumption, but not as common as one would think. Generally for neck pain to be caused by a pinched nerve, the pain would radiate beyond the neck and travels down the arm or into the shoulder. There is often associated numbness, tingling or weakness in the affected arm or hand.
Can Neck Pain Be Prevented?
The good news is that there are several things you can do to prevent neck pain. Maintaining good posture, regular exercise, and stretching can all help strengthen the muscles in your neck and upper back, reducing the risk of pain.
How Do We Treat Neck Pain?
Physiotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for neck pain. A physiotherapist can create a personalized treatment plan that includes stretching and strengthening exercises to improve your posture and reduce your pain. They may also use modalities such as heat, ice, or electrical stimulation to reduce inflammation and improve your range of motion. Other forms of treatments such as chiropractic care and massage therapy are also effective at improving symptoms.
Are there home remedies for neck pain (how do I relieve neck pain)?
- Ice or heat? People often wonder whether they should use ice or heat to help their neck pain. If someone is experiencing throbbing pain that lingers for a certain amount of time, we should use ice to calm that down. It will freeze the area and minimize the pain signals. Heat on the other hand will help increase circulation to an area, which is a great to help relieve sore and tight muscles. Hot compresses, heating pads or warm showers can helpful methods of applying heat to the neck. For more information on ice vs heat, please visit this article Home Pain Management 101: Ice or Heat?
- Keep Moving: As mentioned previously, we want to avoid complete bed rest but instead we should continue moving with our comfort level, avoiding the movements that trigger the pain.
- Posture: Good posture can help minimize pressure on the neck and alleviate some of the symptoms. Avoiding slouching or sitting, this can be achieved by tucking in the chin and bringing the shoulders back. One suggestion is to avoid sitting for greater than 30-60 minutes at a time, especially when working in front of a screen. For more neck posture tips, go check out these 9 tips in this article.
Do I need an X-Ray or MRI for my neck pain?
It’s important to note that diagnostic imaging is not always necessary for neck pain, particularly if there are no red flags or indications of serious underlying conditions. Your healthcare provider will assess your individual case, taking into account your symptoms, medical history, and physical examination findings, before determining the need for imaging.
I have neck pain, do I need surgery?
It is very rare to require surgery for simple neck pain. In the rare instance that there’s significant pressure on the spinal cord or nerves due to a disc herniation, that may necessitate surgical intervention, but often times a conservative approach, such as physiotherapy, massage therapy or any manual movement therapy can improve symptoms and resolve the issue. Surgery is usually seen as a last resort option.
What If My Neck Pain Isn’t Getting Better?
If neck pain has lasted over 6 weeks, is getting worse instead of improving, or if new symptoms start to appear, it would be a good opportunity to speak to a healthcare practitioner. If symptoms of intense headache and/or the inability to bend your head forward, unexplained episodes of dizziness, nausea or vomiting would require a thorough medical examination.
If you’re worried about neck pain that you are experiencing and would like to speak to a Physiotherapist, click the link below and fill out the form to have one of our clinicians call you. If you would like to find out more about neck pain, please visit our Neck Pain and Stiffness page, we even have a free report entitled – 9 Quick and Easy Ways To End Neck and Shoulder Pain (And Stiffness) Without Taking Medication or Needing Surgery – with more tips on relieving neck pain.