Archives for August 2011

Whiplash Neck Pain

whiplash neck painWhiplash neck pain is usually caused by car accidents. During motor vehicle accidents, our body is secured into the seat but the head is thrown forward causing too much flexion of the neck. With this, the sudden forward motion goes beyond the normal range of neck movement causing the ligaments and muscles to overstretch.

How to Identify if it is Whiplash Neck Pain?

First, you need to identify the area of the pain. A common symptom of whiplash is neck stiffness and neck pain. The kind of pain felt differs, but the location of the pain is mostly in the area over the shoulders between the shoulder blades.

Other people can also experience on and off pain which can move toward the ears and can cause painful headaches. Some would also complain of tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Whiplash neck pain cannot be detected for several days after the accident happened, so it is essential for you to be aware of any changes in your neck area.

  • Know the symptoms

Except for the most obvious symptom which is neck pain, if you suffer from whiplash you may also experience blurred vision and dizziness. Other symptoms would include difficulty sleeping and memory problems. The symptoms that you feel depend on the intensity of the injury. There are cases that the injury can cause personality disorders like mood changes, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating and irritability.

  • Undergoing specific tests to identify whiplash

Before undergoing any specific medical examinations, your doctor will be asking you questions regarding your medical history, if you have been in any accidents and so on. These things are important to know if you really are experiencing whiplash. If you really have been in an accident then you will need to undergo certain diagnostic tests.

If your doctor suspects the presence of whiplash, he or she may order a series of test like X-rays or a CT scan to know if the spine or neck vertebrae have suffered any type of damage or injury, or whether you have a pinched nerve. Manual physical examinations are also very common and it can greatly help doctors establish whether the area is tender or sensitive to the touch.

Recommended treatments for whiplash neck pain

Recommended treatments for whiplash neck pain would include ice or cold therapy.  This therapy is usually recommended for the first 48 hours after the injury. It helps in reducing the inflammation and swelling of the neck muscles sustained from the accident. Heat therapy is used following the cold therapy. Heat therapy improves the circulation of blood to the injured area, supplying the necessary nutrients and oxygen needed for faster healing. Pharmacological treatment may be used if severe injuries have been sustained, and especially if the pain is already chronic.

Whiplash neck pain can be painful, and it may point toward something serious taking place when proper treatment is not done immediately. Like any other conditions, early treatment and prevention is the best intervention.

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Avoid Neck Pain After Sleeping

Avoid Neck Pain After Sleeping

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Avoid neck pain after sleeping by doing simple changes with your mattress, pillow and sleeping position. Sleeping in an uncomfortable position for your neck can cause pain in the morning.

Choose the Perfect Kind of Mattress to Beat Neck Pain After Sleeping

Having the right mattress is the first step that can help avoid neck pain after sleeping. According to experts, they suggest that a mattress must be firm enough to support the body thus preventing the spine from bending. Too soft mattresses can sag and allows the spine to bend when you are sleeping. A firm mattress can definitely provide the support that your spine needs while giving your body cushion and added comfort.

Ergonomic Pillows the Best Solution to Relieving Neck Pain After Sleeping

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Most likely, one of the simplest things that you can do prevent neck pain after waking up in the morning is to change your pillow. Having a pillow that is too low can cause the head to bend, stretching the muscles of neck. Pillows that are too high can cause the head to bend up, straining the muscles. Both of these can lead to neck pain due to sleeping.

So what is the best solution to this problem? An ergonomic or neck pillow is a best buy. This pillow will provide the proper support to the head and prevents neck strain. Selecting the right kind of pillow depends on what position a person sleeps in.

Find a proper sleeping position

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We spend almost half of our lives in bed. Without a proper night’s sleep, it’s hard for us to function properly. Improper sleeping positions can place remarkable strain on the body, resulting not only to neck pain but back pain as well.

Sleeping on your back is normally thought to be one of the better sleeping positions if neck pain after sleeping is your problem. Most people who go to sleep on their backs, still, toss and turn during the night thus ending up either on their sides or stomachs. When you sleep on your side, you should have a pillow that properly aligns the spine, to keep it straight during the whole night.

For those who love to sleep on their stomachs, surely neck pain after sleeping is the common problem that you have. This is because when sleeping on the stomach, your head is turned to one side. This position twists the cervical spine, and if left in this kind of position for a period of time, you will experience neck pain and stiffness in the morning.

When we are sleeping, we cannot control the kind of sleeping position we end up in. But, there are certain things that can be done to stay away from the positions that could lead to neck pain after sleeping. For instance, some people find it useful to lay a pillow right next to them when they go to bed, which can sometimes keep them from rolling onto their stomachs.

Hope the simple tips above could help you avoid neck pain after sleeping.

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Treatment For Wry Neck

treatment for wry neck

Suffering From Wry Neck? Click Here

Treatment for wry neck is a condition which is characterized by muscle spasms in the neck. This condition happens suddenly. Wry neck and torticollis is common and it usually affects women.

The cause for the muscle spasms is unknown. In some cases, the compression of nerves may be the cause. Inflammation, dislocation of the joint in the neck and infection are other probable causes.

Another possible factor is heredity. In congenital wry neck, a baby is born with a malformed neck muscles. Others may have involuntary tics and spasms.

Doctors are still unable to pinpoint the exact reason on what causes this condition. Before, cases were linked to mental disorders like hysteria. Some would also believe that in rare cases, it could also be caused by emotional problems as well.

How Wry Neck is Diagnosed

If you are experiencing symptoms of wry neck, it is important that you should be examined for any signs of muscular asymmetry. Your doctor will be asking you questions about past nerve and muscle disorders and if you have been in a recent accident affecting the head and neck. Doctor’s will then advise you to undergo certain test like a neurological examination, CT scans and MRI’s.

Various Treatment For Wry Neck

A lot of people have benefited from medical and alternative therapies for wry neck. But, these treatments may not work for everyone. It is important for you to find one that is effective and helpful to you.

Drug Therapy

Doctors would first prescribe painkillers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAID’s) and aspirin; muscle relaxants like diazepam; and anticholinergic drugs to block unnecessary nerve impulses.

In some situations, drugs like haloperidol are prescribed, but be careful with its side effects which is lethargy and possible muscle disorders.

Surgery

When you think that drug therapy is not helpful to you, another approach is to undergo neurosurgery to treat the affected nerves that control your neck muscles.

Alternative Treatment for Wry Neck

Alternative treatment for wry neck may include physical therapy and massage which can provide temporary relief from pain. When these treatments have been started immediately after the onset of the disease, it can possibly help cure wry neck. These therapies would consist of stretching exercises to help strengthen the neck muscles.

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a treatment that uses fine needles to certain pressure spots in the body to release energy. This is performed by a qualified acupuncturist for six sessions.

  • Biofeedback

This treatment helps you control and relax your neck muscles.

  • Chiropractic

Chiropractic therapy is used in treating neck pain especially wry neck through electrical stimulation and manipulation.

  • Meditation

People who are having neck tension will benefit from this treatment.

  • Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy includes alternating hot and cold bath, underwater massage and whirlpool bath to alleviate muscle and neck pain.

  • Massage therapies

This treatment for wry neck is combined with physical therapy which is very helpful. You can choose from the traditional massage or opt for a more vigorous or hard massage.

 

Neck Massage For Muscle Tension

neck massage

Relieving Neck Pain With Massage

Neck massage is one of the best ways to get some neck pain relief. When you are in a lot of stress from your work or home life, one of the first places to suffer is your neck and shoulders.

Stress can cause unnatural muscle tension and tightening. This can result in excruciating neck muscle pain. Your neck becomes stiff and the pain radiates to the shoulders and back. It is so important that you start treating neck pain at the onset. If you let it continue, you will just get worse.

One of the first things and one of the easiest things you can do is some stretching and neck massage.  These can help a lot by relaxing and soothing the muscles and relieving pain at a faster pace. Always find time to do neck stretches at work or at home.

Treating neck muscle tension and pain with massage may require the help of health care professionals and massage therapists. Massage has long been used as an effective treatment method in relieving neck and shoulder pain and stiffness.

Getting a neck massage is as easy as heading over to your local shopping mall. Here you will often see a center kiosk equipped with massage chairs and masseurs. What a great way to relax during your lunch hour.

Methods for Neck Massage

Side Stroking

With the massage technique of side stroking, you are in a face-down position. The massage therapist will then use both of his hands to stroke on one side of the base of your neck. As the therapist moves toward the side of the neck, they will make stroking movements from the shoulders to the neck and the base of the skull.

The strokes are smooth and you should not feel when one stroke finished and the other starts. To achieve this, the massage therapists would usually lift their first hand and put it back to the shoulder, doing continuous strokes to the neck.

Pressure Technique

The pressure technique can be done by you. Before starting the neck massage, be sure that you use pressure techniques on the base of the shoulder. Move your hands down to the base of the neck by making small, circular and firm pressures on both sides using your middle finger.

Repeat this technique slowly, pressing into the hollow of the spine or on the side of the base of the skull. After which, return to the base and continue doing the slow firm pressures to stimulate the blood flow, relaxing your muscle tension.

Side Stretch

The side stretch can be done with a partner. Your partner must first cup her hand on your shoulders, and the other hand on the base of the skull. Let them slowly push your shoulder down while keeping your head in a neutral position. This method creates the best effect on the muscles in the neck. Do these stretches repeatedly to relax the muscle tension.

When you do a side stretch of the neck, make slow moves and avoid doing it too hard or quick. Pulling too roughly could cause more pain in the neck.

Neck Massage Therapy

If you think that massage therapy is what you need for your neck pain, look for a licensed massage therapy service. There you will find trained and licensed massage therapists very happy to massage your neck pain away.

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Wry Neck

Wry NeckWry neck, which is another of the common neck pain causes, is a condition of the neck that is medically known as torticollis. This is a condition where there is abrupt and severe neck pain which eventually may lead to contractions of the neck muscles. This will then cause the head to be turned to only one side due to problems in maintaining the normal head position.  

Wry neck may develop after a vigorous jerk or movement or even after a minimal head turn. Some may be awaken from their sleep because of the severe pain experienced. Wry neck can happen quite easily in children. It can also be a congenital deformity.

 What You Can Experience With Wry Neck

Most often, this condition is linked to the spasm of the scapula muscles known as trapezius, which is located in your upper back and reaches up toward your neck. Or, it can be associated with viral infections and herniated discs. 

Symptoms that you expect to experience are severe pain on one side of your neck and the inability to turn your head. The pain is more severe in the lower area of the neck and may radiate down to the scapula and shoulders, thus causing shoulder pain as well.  

You may also find yourself with certain symptoms like head tremor, headache, and limited movement of the upper and lower extremities. 

The Diagnosis For Wry Neck

The diagnosis for wry neck is done after physical examination. The physician first notes the kind of pain you are experiencing and observes your ability to maintain a good and proper posture. After which, medical exams will show a limited movement of the muscles and slowing down of the reflexes. Diminished reflexes can also indicate nerve root involvement and may signify a herniated disc.

Aside from a physical examination, the physician also notes your medical history and ask certain questions about your pain and disability. 

Normal x-rays of the neck are also performed to check for any fractures. CT scans and MRI imaging may also be done to make sure there are no abnormalities in the tissues of the neck like the presence of cysts or tumors.  

EMG is also a technique that records the electrical activity of the skeletal muscle. This exam is helpful in determining the nerves and muscles affected. This may be done if the diagnosis is not quite clear.

Treatment For Wry Neck

Treatment may include the use of muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications. Even though heat is very relaxing, alternating it with ice packs is a lot more effective. Ice packs not only reduce the pain but they also reduce the swelling of the tissues as well. 

An anti-inflammatory medication is effective in reducing pain and inflammation but a stronger prescription is needed when pain becomes more severe. There are a lot of prescription pain medications like opiate-based meds that can unfortunately cause side effects like dizziness, drowsiness and constipation. If you are on these meds and you start to experience these symptoms, call your doctor right away. 

Another treatment of wry neck is physical therapy. Physical therapy includes programs that can help in restoring back mobility and lessen pain.  

Surgical treatment is also another option for cases of permanent wry neck. The goal of this intervention is to cut and reattach the affected muscles to remove the constricting bands of tissues, improving the range of motion and allowing the head to be placed in a normal position.  

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