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Pain – neck; Neck stiffness
What is neck pain?
Neck pain can be so mild that it is merely annoying and distracting. Or it can be so severe that it is unbearable and incapacitating.
Most instances of neck pain (and stiffness) are minor and commonly caused by something you did. That is, if you keep your head in an awkward position for too long the joints in your neck can “lock” and the neck muscles can become painfully fatigued. The price you pay for carelessness in how you position your head and neck (say, while working, watching TV, using a computer, reading a book, or talking on the phone with the receiver held against your shoulder and under your chin), is a pain in the neck. You may be one of the many unfortunates who, after a long and tiring day, has “harmlessly” fallen asleep in a chair or in bed with your head propped up, only to awake with a stiff and painful neck. Fortunately, most minor, posture-induced neck pain episodes clear up on their own after rest and efforts not to repeat the offending stresses on the neck.
Neck pain afflicts almost three-quarters of adults at some point; for nearly one in six, pain is chronic. If you suffer from neck pain, many different forms of therapy are available, including spinal manipulation, drug regimens and exercises – but which form is best?
But neck pain that just won’t go away after a day or so is a more serious matter. Neck pain that lasts for many days or keeps coming back is a signal that something isn’t right. Disease, an injury (such as whiplash in an auto accident), a congenital malformation, or progressive degeneration that can come with age may be responsible for the more significant pain you experience. An expert must determine the underlying causes of such neck pain. Examination, diagnosis and treatment by a doctor of chiropractic can relieve your mind and may quickly relieve your pain.
Who suffers from neck pain?
Almost everyone experiences some sort of neck pain or stiffness at one time or another. Because you are human and walk upright, your head is “balanced” atop your spinal column. If the muscles that support your head are not kept strong and in good condition, the upper part of your spinal column is vulnerable to strains and injuries.
Older people, whose joints have been worn by much use over time, are subject to osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease or DJD). When this form of arthritis hits your back and neck, you feel it as neck pain that gets worse over time. The pain may radiate into your shoulders and arms, and you may feel numbness or tingling in hands and fingers. Arthritis can also involve symptoms including headaches, dizziness, and even a grating/grinding feeling when you move your head. It is very important for your chiropractor to examine you to rule out osteoarthritis or identify it and see that it is properly treated.
To compare the effectiveness of three forms of neck pain therapy, researchers followed approximately 200 people suffering from chronic neck pain over 11 weeks of treatment, and recorded their progress over the next two years. The patients were randomly divided to receive 20 one-hour treatments, in one of the methods listed below:
1.spinal manipulation and light soft-tissue massage from experienced chiropractic clinicians;
2.chiropractic spinal manipulation plus rehabilitative exercise from trained exercise therapists, including stretching and dynamic neck exercises;
3. rehabilitative neck exercises using a variable resistance, neck extension and rotation machine.
Patient-rated pain was lower for both exercise groups than for manipulation alone, and the exercise groups benefited more regarding pain, disability, improvement and health status. Spinal manipulation plus exercise provided greater satisfaction than manipulation alone or rehabilitative exercises, however. The advantage of both manipulation plus exercise and machine exercises over manipulation alone continued over the two-year follow-up period.
If you suffer from chronic neck pain and don’t know where to turn, your local chiropractor is the best place to start. Cervical manipulations along with regular neck exercises can help end the pain and get you headed in the right direction.
Between 10-15% of people suffer from neck pain, which is most commonly seen in middle-aged individuals and women. Chiropractors often provide a form of manual therapy called “mobilization,” in addition to cervical adjustments, intended to increase neck flexibility and reduce pain.
In a recent study from the Netherlands, 183 patients with neck pain lasting at least two weeks were divided into three groups and received either manual therapy, physical therapy, or continued care from a general practitioner. Manual therapy involved weekly “hands-on” techniques in which “experienced manual therapists” sought to decrease restrictions in neck range of motion; physical therapy focused primarily on exercise in 30-minute sessions twice per week; and general practitioner care involved advice on recovery, self-care, and ergonomics.
After seven weeks of treatment, the success rate was nearly twice as high in the manual therapy group as in the group receiving care from a general practitioner. The recovery rates were 68%, 51%, and 36% for the manual therapy, physical therapy, and general care groups, respectively. The manual therapy patients had half the absences from work due to pain during the study as the other two groups. Also, manual therapy proved better than physical therapy in all outcome measures in this study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The fundamental objective of manual therapy is restoration of normal joint motion. This goal was attained in the study, with a “relatively large” increase in neck range of motion. If you are suffering from neck pain, your chiropractor can treat your symptoms with manual therapy, adjustments, and neck exercises to address not just the pain, but also range of motion and strength.
Neck pain may originate from any of the structures in the neck. These include muscles and nerves as well as spinal vertebrae and the cushioning discs in between. Neck pain may also come from regions near the neck, like the shoulder, jaw, head, and upper arms.
When your neck is sore, you may have difficulty moving it, especially to one side. Many people describe this as having a stiff neck.
If neck pain involves nerves (for example, significant muscle spasm pinching on a nerve or a slipped disc pressing on a nerve), you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm, hand, or elsewhere.
A common cause of neck pain is muscle strain or tension. Usually, everyday activities are to blame. Such activities include bending over a desk for hours, having poor posture while watching TV or reading, placing your computer monitor too high or too low, sleeping in an uncomfortable position, or twisting and turning the neck in a jarring manner while exercising.
Traumatic accidents or falls can cause severe neck injuries like vertebral fractures, whiplash, blood vessel injury, and even paralysis.
Other causes include herniated disc, fibromyalgia (pain syndrome throughout the body), and arthritis. Meningitis, although much less common, can cause significant neck stiffness.
Click for the knowledge Other causes and remedy :1.Whiplash 2.Herniated nucleus pulposus (slipped disk) 3.Heart attack . 4.Spinal stenosis 5.Osteoporosis 6.Sprains and Strains 7.Torticollis 8.Vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders 9.Cervical spondylosis
For minor, common causes of neck pain:
Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Apply heat or ice to the painful area. One good method is to use ice for the first 48 – 72 hours, then use heat after that. Heat may be applied with hot showers, hot compresses, or a heating pad. Be careful not to fall asleep with a heating pad on.
Perform slow range-of-motion exercises — up-and-down, side-to-side, and from ear-to-ear — to gently stretch the neck muscles.
Have a partner gently massage the sore or painful areas.
Try sleeping on a firm mattress without a pillow or with a special neck pillow.
Call your health care provider if:
One week of self care hasn’t helped.
You have a fever and headache, and your neck is so stiff that you cannot touch your chin to your chest. THIS MAY BE MENINGITIS — CALL 911 or get to a hospital.
You have numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or hand.
Your neck pain was caused by a fall, blow, or injury (if you cannot move your arm or hand, have someone call 911).
You have swollen glands or a lump in your neck.
Your pain does not respond to standard doses of over-the-counter pain medication.
What can chiropractic do?
Doctors of chiropractic have the training and skills to relieve your neck pain, overcome stiffness, and restore the mobility and range of motion of any frozen neck vertebrae. They are devoted to helping you get back to your normal pursuits and start feeling like yourself again.
Perhaps their most important contribution is their ability to bring their specialized diagnostic skills, techniques, and equipment to bear in assessing what is causing your neck problems. Your chiropractor can determine if you have a relatively minor and treatable condition or a more serious underlying condition (from disease, degeneration, or trauma) that may require more intensive, extended treatment or referral to a specialist.
Your chiropractor will ask you for detailed information on your behavior, posture, physical condition, and work and home environment He or she will obtain x-rays and other diagnostic images to pinpoint which of many possible causes is a responsible for your discomfort. Only then will the appropriate treatment be recommended.
Once your normal feeling and function is restored, your chiropractor will be available to keep the muscles and joints of your neck and back in optimum condition to prevent recurrence of neck pain and related life-restricting symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.
Help taken from :www,chirofind.com and healthline.com