Updated: Jun 6
Neck pain can be extremely debilitating. Any type of neck pain can be miserable, but chronic neck pain is much more than a nuisance. It can lead to other complications like headaches, insomnia, and general loss of quality of life.
For some people, living with neck pain is part of daily life. A recent study has been published, which found that 83% of adults will suffer from neck pain over their lifetime. Stiff necks and headaches are normal occurrences.
But you can't just sit on the couch for days on end, though. You need to get the pain under control. That's why our pain management NYC center will help you get through it. In addition, this blog explores some risk factors for neck pain, current treatment options, and how you can live with neck pain if it does occur.
What Causes Neck Pain
The neck contains many bones supporting the head and is surrounded by muscles, nerves, and ligaments. These structures work together to allow you to move your head in various directions without injuring yourself.
If you experience neck pain on a regular basis, it's important to see a health professional for an evaluation. They will ask about your symptoms and perform physical tests to determine the cause of your pain. They may refer you to a physical therapist if conservative treatment hasn't helped relieve your symptoms.
Neck pain is a common complaint among people of all ages. It can result from overuse, injury, or poor posture. It can also be caused by a pinched nerve in the neck, which may be a result of arthritis or inflammation. Neck pain may also be a symptom of other health problems. The following are some of the most common causes of neck pain:
Overuse: Neck pain can be caused by an overuse injury such as whiplash. Whiplash is a sudden movement of the head and neck that causes damage to the soft tissues surrounding your spine.
Injury: Neck pain can be caused by an injury such as a fall or sports injury. If you have injured your neck recently, see your healthcare provider immediately for diagnosis and treatment options.
Poor posture: Problems with posture, such as rounded shoulders, forward head position, and slouching, can cause tension and stress on your muscles and joints, which can lead to neck pain.
Pinched nerve: A pinched nerve in your neck may cause pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in one or more areas of your body below your shoulder blade. This type of condition is called cervical radiculopathy.
Tension: Stress and anxiety can cause muscle tension in your neck, which can also lead to pain.
How to Recognize Neck Pain
Neck pain has many causes, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. It is often described as a dull ache or sharp pain in the back of the head or neck. It can be felt in one specific area or throughout the entire neck. If you think you may have neck pain, it's important to seek medical attention from a pain doctor or chiropractor. Other common symptoms include:
• Pain or tenderness in your neck (the area between your head and shoulder). The pain may radiate down into your arms or shoulders. The pain may be dull or sharp.
• Headaches. Headaches are often a symptom of tension in the neck muscles, which causes strain on blood vessels that supply blood to the brain.
• Muscle spasms in the back of the neck. Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of muscle fibers that result in painful muscle knots or trigger points.
What Happens if Neck Pain is Left Untreated
Neck pain can be a very frustrating condition to live with. You may find that the pain is worse on some days than others, and even when it is not bothering you, it's always there in the back of your mind.
Neck pain can cause significant problems such as reduced mobility and loss of function. In addition, the longer you wait to seek treatment for your neck pain, the greater your risk of developing serious problems such as arthritis and even spinal cord injury. Therefore, if you experience neck pain, it is important to seek treatment. Untreated neck pain can result in the following:
• Increased pain and stiffness. The longer the condition goes untreated, the more likely it is that your symptoms will worsen.
• Nerve irritation or nerve impingement. This occurs when nerves in your spine are compressed by bone spurs (osteophytes) or other tissues. This can lead to tingling and numbness in your arms or legs, weakness, and even loss of muscle coordination (ataxia).
• Spinal cord compression or nerve root compression. These conditions result from inflammation and swelling within the spinal canal or around its spinal roots. This can cause weakness in specific muscles or limbs, paralysis, and loss of sensation in one side of your body (hemiplegia).
• Untreated neck pain can lead to chronic problems like headaches, muscle spasms, and stiffness in the upper back, arms, and shoulders. The good news is that many types of neck pain are easily managed if treated early.
How to Treat Neck Pain
Neck pain is a common problem and can be caused by a number of factors. It's important to understand the different types of neck pain, as well as the treatment options available. Treatment for neck pain varies depending on the cause of your symptoms:
• If you have arthritis, the health professional may recommend chiropractic care to help reduce inflammation and improve mobility in your joints.
• If there's inflammation in your muscles or ligaments, physical therapy can help reduce this inflammation and improve muscle strength and flexibility.
• If you have persistent neck pain that interferes with your activities, you may be recommended treatment options such as injections for faster relief.
• If you have trouble moving your neck, a physical therapist can provide exercises that will strengthen these muscles so that they are more flexible and better able to move without causing pain or discomfort.
In short, living with neck pain is something that you don't want to do. If you're experiencing a lot of pain, or if the pain won't go away, schedule an appointment with our pain management NYC specialist to discuss your options. Pain relief and treatment are available, so make sure that you get help for your neck on your terms.