Updated: May 30
Some people in NYC and all over the world suffer from different levels of chronic neck pain, and it is a common condition that unfortunately grows in severity over time. It can affect various parts of the body, which in turn are linked to multiple organs.
Let's face it, although we may not like to admit it sometimes, living with neck pain can be challenging and frustrating. Besides, who wants to deal with flare-ups and discomfort on a daily basis? It doesn't need to be that way, though!
Pain relief options typically are surgery and medication. Still, there are other ways, which is why it's important for patients with chronic neck pain to take their time looking into the different causes and contributing factors so they can be aware of the New York pain management treatments available to them.
What Is Neck Pain?
The neck is made up of seven cervical vertebrae, which are stacked on top of each other like the rungs of a ladder. The vertebrae connect to the skull and allow you to turn your head from side to side and bend your head forward.
The upper part of your neck also contains two sets of muscles that help keep your head steady as you move. These muscles are called the deep cervical flexor muscles and superficial cervical flexor muscles. They work together to stabilize your neck as you move around or perform daily tasks such as driving, working at a desk, or using a computer.
When one or both sets of these muscles become weak or damaged, it can lead to neck pain.
Pain in one area (for example, between your shoulder blades) or along the entire length of your neck
A feeling of stiffness in your neck
Pain when moving around or turning your head
Sharp shooting pains in your neck that last seconds or minutes
Numbness or tingling in your arms or hands when you turn your head to the side
Many individuals experience neck pain in their lifetime. Neck pain can be debilitating as it worsens with long periods of time seated in front of the computer, driving, or sitting in general.
It may seem like a minor issue, but chronic neck pain can have a big effect on your quality of life. In addition, it can affect your posture, ability to sleep, and mood. It can also make it difficult to perform tasks at work or complete daily activities such as driving or cooking.
What Is Chronic Neck Pain?
Chronic neck pain is the most common type of chronic pain. It's not just a temporary ache that goes away after a few days. Instead, chronic neck pain is a kind of persistent, constant ache or discomfort in the neck that lasts longer than three months and can have a major impact on your daily life.
Chronic neck pain can also affect your overall productivity and success. The inability to move your neck can cause headaches, lower back pain, and shoulder pain due to decreased mobility and increased stress on other muscles.
Chronic neck pain can cause you to feel depressed, anxious, or irritable. You may have trouble sleeping, concentrating, or enjoying activities you once enjoyed. You might also have problems working and socializing with friends and family members.
The causes of chronic neck pain are often not fully understood. However, the following may play a role in contributing to chronic neck pain:
Injuries to the cervical spine (the part of your spine that surrounds your spinal cord) can cause chronic neck pain. These injuries can include whiplash, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease.
Chronic stress on muscles in the back of your neck can cause them to tighten or strain over time. These tight muscles can pull on ligaments (tissues that connect bones), which can cause inflammation and irritation in the nerves located near them.
Some people may have an inherited defect in their genes that makes them more likely to develop certain types of arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS). It might be an underlying cause of chronic neck pain in these cases, even though symptoms don't typically appear until adulthood.
Poor posture. Poor posture is one of the most common causes of chronic neck pain. If you sit at work all day hunched over a computer screen with your head bent forward and chin tucked into your chest, this could contribute to your pain. Your body naturally wants to maintain a straight spine when standing up straight and tall, but sitting in a hunched position all day will put extra strain on your neck muscles and cause them to tighten up over time.
Repetitive motions. If you make the same motion over and over again (like turning your head from side to side), it's easy for muscles in your neck to become fatigued and strained over time. This can lead to chronic muscle tension around your shoulders and upper back as well as stiffness in your joints.
While you may be able to treat acute neck pain with over-the-counter painkillers or heat packs, chronic neck pain can be frustrating because it won't go away without proper pain management treatment.
Unfortunately, chronic neck pain is not uncommon, but there is no universal cure for it. It can cause other problems, and it can lead to more serious problems if left untreated. Chronic neck pain may be severe, but it is treatable.
It's important to treat chronic neck pain as soon as possible so that you don't miss out on work or other daily activities and prevent it from worsening. You should see a Manhattan pain management specialist if you have been experiencing symptoms for more than three months, as they may have underlying causes that need to be treated.
What Are The Pain Management Options For Chronic Neck Pain?
People in Manhattan who have chronic neck pain often find that it interferes with their daily activities and makes simple tasks difficult. For this reason, many people seek out Manhattan pain management treatments for chronic neck pain to reduce the pain and improve their quality of life.
The Things You Can Do
Don't smoke or drink alcohol excessively. Smoking and excessive alcohol use are major risk factors contributing to chronic neck pain.
Get at least 25 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week (e.g., walking, cycling). Aerobic exercise helps reduce stress and improves oxygen flow in the body.
Learn how to relax your muscles by using deep breathing exercises or biofeedback methods such as progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery. Relaxation techniques reduce muscle tension and help you sleep better at night.
Build up strength in your upper back muscles through stretching exercises (e.g., shoulder shrugs) and strengthening exercises (e.g., arm circles). Strengthening these muscles will help support your head better when you bend down or raise it from looking down at something over time.
Applying heat or cold packs to your neck may help soothe sore muscles and reduce inflammation around your spine and joints.
Your doctor may recommend medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or muscle relaxants to ease muscle spasms or swelling around the nerves in your spine.
The Treatment Options
Treatment options vary depending on the cause of your chronic neck pain. If you have chronic neck pain that doesn't respond to self-care, consider seeing a New York pain management specialist who can diagnose the cause of your discomfort and recommend treatment options.
Chronic neck pain is a complex problem, and there's no single treatment that works for everyone. Instead, a specialist may recommend several different treatments, or you may need to try more than one approach before you find one that helps.
The first thing to understand is that there is no single cause of chronic neck pain. This means that there is also no single treatment that will cure it.
The key to recovery from chronic neck pain is finding the right combination of pain management treatments to address the cause of your pain and then following through with these treatments until they become habits.
Some people with chronic neck pain find that physical therapy helps ease their symptoms. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen your spine and neck muscles so they'll be less likely to spasm and cause pain. Physical therapy is available at All Of Pain, a New York pain management center.
Injections are used to treat some types of chronic neck pain that don't respond to other treatments or surgery. This is called interventional pain management. The injection contains a steroid medication that reduces inflammation in the spine and slows down nerve impulses that cause muscle spasms.
Injections may be given over several visits until your symptoms improve enough for you to return home from the clinic. Our pain management center in NYC offers interventional pain management services that are detailed and personalized to every patient's needs.
You Can Find Relief
Chronic neck pain can be very frustrating, especially if it keeps you from doing the things you enjoy. It's easy to feel hopeless when you're dealing with chronic pain. Unfortunately, chronic neck pain often lingers for months or years without relief.
Don't give up hope if you're frustrated with your self-care treatment options. With the right information and support, you can find the best pain management option that suits your needs so you can take control of your pain and live a more active lifestyle.