Suffering From Neck Pain?

suffering from neck painsNeck pain? Rest assured, you are not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from these conditions. In fact, up to two-thirds of us have neck pain at some point in our lives.

Neck pain is also known as “cervical pain”. It is felt in the neck area and within the structures of the neck from the muscles, nerves and to the vertebrae and the disks in between.

What Does It Feel Like Suffering From Neck Pain?

As a neck pain sufferer, you know what YOUR neck pain feels like. But you may also be wondering if what you feel is typical pain. Let’s look at what most common neck discomfort may feel like.

The pain is located in the neck area and there is stiffness of the neck muscles. The pain may radiate to certain areas particularly down to the shoulders, arms and hands or up into the head causing headaches. When touching the neck muscles, it feels hard and tense.  Suffering from neck pain is associated with nerves, numbness, tingling sensation and weakness of the extremities can be felt.

Three Types of Cervical Pain

Pain in the neck is classified into three types:

  • axial neck pain
  • myelopathy
  • radiculopathy

Axial neck pains are more on the musculoskeletal system thus there is pure soft tissue and neck pain. Myelopathy happens when there is too much pressure on the spinal cord thus can cause neck pain to occur. Lastly, radiculopathy where the nerves are compressed which could lead to arm and pain on the neck as well.

Acute vs. Chronic Neck Pain

The pain you feel can be either acute or chronic. Acute pain occurs immediately after injury. Usually, this condition can be treated within 7 to 10 days with ice, rest and over-the-counter pain reliever drugs. If symptoms would tend to continue for a few weeks, the help of a primary care physician is needed. With acute neck pains, your professional health carer would perform tests and do therapies like give anti-inflammatory and pain medications, acupuncture, injections and physical therapy.

On the other hand, chronic pain is described as neck pain than occurs from more than three months. If treatments and medications are not effective in treating the chronic pain, intense pain management and surgical interventions may be necessary.

Some Causes of Neck Pain

One of the primary causes of neck pain is stress. Even though you may have a stress free life, there are still stressors in our environment that can affect us, like chemical and physical stressor.

Chemical stress caused by chemicals and pollutants can seriously affect your overall health. Physical stress like wrong sleeping position, excessive fatigue, tedious movements and uncomfortable or abnormal neck positions can all lead to muscle strain and tension.

Secondly, neck pains can be caused by diseases or disorders to any of the tissues in the neck. Some common conditions are neck strain, neck injury and degenerative diseases. Some can be caused by infections like a throat virus infection which could lead to swelling and pain in the neck.

There are also conditions that can affect the neck muscles like fibromyalgia. Neck pains can also be caused by traumatic accidents or falls that causes neck injuries like fractures, blood vessel injury, whiplash and paralysis.

Risk Factors of Neck Pain

Perhaps the biggest risk factor is aging. As you get older, your neck is suffers from years of wear and tear. This causes conditions such as arthritis, which is common with age.

The occurrence of neck pain is also high if your occupation requires your neck to be in one position for a long period of time.