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Understanding Neck pain

 

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The remedies for neck pain

 Neck pain is a very common complaint, highly variable in its location and severity. It can involve any part of the neck (neck vertebrae, muscles, joints, ligaments and nerves) and can result from a variety of causes.

 In the less severe cases, neck pain is associated with muscle strain or tension from overuse or poor posture. Sitting at a computer for several hours a day and sleeping in a bad position are good examples of such a situation. But sometimes neck pain can result from a more serious condition, including osteoarthritis (a degenerative condition of the joints), nerve compression (from example resulting from a herniated disk), injuries such as falls or car accidents, and certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease affecting the joints), meningitis (the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord) and neck tumors.

 Neck pain usually doesn’t require surgery, but only medical care and self-care measures. Medical attention is always needed when neck pain occurs after an injury, is particularly severe and long-lasting, spreads down the arms or legs, or when it is accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, weakness or tingling sensation that can indicate the presence of a more serious medical problem.

Treating* neck pain

 Depending on the cause, the treatment of neck pain usually includes prescription or over-the counter pain relievers (e.g. opioid analgesics, muscle relaxants, corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, and acetaminophen), physical therapy and short-term immobilization with a cervical collar, or a combination of these therapies. Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and massage, may be helpful for relieving neck pain, especially when combined with traditional treatments.

 Besides taking over-the-counter pain relievers, other self-care measures for relieving neck pain include getting a proper amount of rest during the day, applying cold packs on the painful area to reduce inflammation and gently stretching the neck from side to side several times a day. However, as already said, when these self-care measures are not enough to adequately relieve neck pain, medical care must be sought.

 Since most neck pain results from poor posture and consequent neck strain or tension, changing some daily habits or routines can be helpful to prevent neck pain from occurring. In this respect, the most effective preventive measures include maintaining a good neck posture in daily activities (such as sitting at a computer, driving a car and talking on the phone), taking frequent breaks, getting stretching exercises regularly and sleeping in a correct supine position using an anatomical pillow.



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*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.



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