neck pain

5 ALTERNATIVE NON-SURGICAL TREATMENTS FOR NECK PAIN

(1) PHYSICAL THERAPY
A physical therapist can design an exercise plan that strengthens your neck muscles and takes the pressure off your spine. They might also apply heat or cold pads during a therapy session to either increase blood flow and range of motion (heat) or decrease blood flow and inflammation (cold). Other physical therapy treatments could include therapeutic massage, chiropractic treatment and/or neck-strengthening exercises you can do at home.

(2) TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS
A trigger point injection is a procedure where a medication, usually a local anesthetic, is injected into the painful muscle to provide relief. The pain relief should be experienced not only in the affected muscle but in the area of referred pain as well.

(3) ANTI-INFLAMMATORY STEROIDS INJECTIONS
Patients experiencing a herniated disc, a degenerated disc, osteoarthritis or inflammation that reduces the space around the nerves can benefit from this type of treatment. The goal of the injection is to reduce inflammation and associated nerve pain – and the injection itself is given with the patient face down under local anesthetic.

(4) BOTOX INJECTIONS
Botox injections can be effective for the treatment of adults with cervical dystonia —a condition that causes the muscles in your neck to tighten or spasm without your control. It can also reduce the severity of abnormal head position and neck pain.

(5) RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION
Radiofrequency Ablation (or RFA) is a non-surgical, outpatient therapy procedure that’s used to help patients with chronic head and neck pain related to spinal arthritis. As with any non-surgical treatment, this procedure is only recommended after a thorough examination and diagnosis. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

neck pain

NECK PAIN, WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP IF YOU HAVE NECK PAIN? TESTING AND DIAGNOSING NECK PAIN

NECK PAIN

Neck pain is pain that starts in the neck and can be associated with radiating pain down one or both of the arms. Neck pain can come from many disorders or diseases that involve any of the tissues in the neck, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, or muscles. The neck region of the spinal column, the cervical spine, consists of seven bones (C1-C7 vertebrae), which are separated from one another by inter-vertebral discs. These discs allow the spine to move freely and act as shock absorbers during activity. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP IF YOU HAVE NECK PAIN?

Seek medical help for neck pain if:

  • It occurs after an injury or blow(s) to the head
  • Stiff neck prevents from touching chin to chest
  • Pain shoots down one or both arms
  • There is tingling, numbness or weakness in the arms or hands
  • Neck symptoms associated with leg weakness or loss of coordination in arms or legs
  • The pain does not respond to over-the-counter pain medication
  • Pain does not improve after a week
  • Fever or headache accompanies the neck pain

TESTING AND DIAGNOSING NECK PAIN

Diagnosis is made based on patient history, symptoms, a physical examination and results of diagnostic studies, if necessary. The tests may include:

  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT scan)
  • Discography
  • Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Selective Nerve Root Block
  • X-rays
Cervical radiculopathy, neck pain

CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY

Cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve) is a problem that results when a nerve in the neck is irritated as it leaves the spinal canal. This condition usually occurs when a nerve root is being pinched by a herniated disc or a bone spur.

Cervical radiculopathy causes symptoms that radiate out away from the neck. What this means is that although the problem is in the spine, the symptoms may be felt in the shoulder, the arm, or the hand. The symptoms will be felt in the area where the nerve irritated travels. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-spondylosis/

TREATMENT FOR CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY

Treatment can be divided into three groups:

  • Conservative treatments which include medication, cervical pillow and epidural injection,
  • Surgery treatment. This includes anterior cervical fusion. After this surgery, patients will probably be placed in some type of brace while healing occurs and it is unusual to wear a brace for 6 to 12 weeks while the fusion occurs and
  • Physical therapy. Whether you have surgery or not, your doctor may have a physical therapist work on an exercise program developed just for you. The physical therapist will teach you ways to prevent further injury to your neck. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/
neck pain

4 SIMPLE EXERCISES THAT CAN HELP EASE NECK PAIN AND NECK STIFFNESS

Most cases of neck pain get better on their own within few weeks. Bed rest for more than a couple of days makes it harder to get going, so make sure you stay active. Gradually increase your normal activities and do the following exercises:

  • (1) Neck Tilt: From the sitting position, tilt your head down so your chin touches your chest, if you are able to. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do this five times.
  • (2) Side-to-Side Neck Tilt. From the starting position, tilt you neck toward one shoulder, leading with your ear. Hold for 5 seconds and then return to the starting position. Do this five times on each side.
  • (3) Neck Turn. Look straight ahead, then turn your head to one side, keeping your chin at the same level. Do not over strain. Do this five times on each side.
  • (4) Neck Stretch. Holding the rest of your body straight, push your chin forward, stretching your throat. Hold for 5 seconds. From the same starting position, push your chin backwards and hold for 5 seconds. Do the forward and backward stretch five times each.

If any of the exercises above cause severe pain or weakness in your hands or arms, stop right away and talk with your doctor. Your neck pain should ease within 2 weeks. Full recovery should take 4-6 weeks. As your neck starts feeling better, you can do more repetitions on each of the exercises above. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/flexibility-exercises/

neck pain

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW 7 EASY EXERCISES TO RELIEF NECK PAIN, read on…

Putting the back in a static position for long periods increase the risk of back or neck strain. The best preventative medicine for neck and back strain is movement. Take frequent breaks away from the computer screen to stretch.

(1) NECK GLIDE

Begin with a straight neck position. Move your chin forward and maintain comfort. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times and increase reps over time up to 20.

(2) TOWEL PULL

Place a rolled towel around your neck in a U Shape holding both ends just below your shoulders. Move your head up and down rolling the towel up and down the neck in the process. Apply pressure as needed to give yourself a neck massage.

(3) SHOULDER SHRUGS

Start in a straight forward position. Raise both shoulders as upward as far as possible and hold for 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and rest for 10 seconds then repeat. Repeat 10 times and increase reps over time up to 20.

(4) NECK ROTATION

Begin with a straight neck spine. Move your head to the left as far as possible while retaining comfort. Hold for 10 seconds and return to a forward-facing position. Move the head to the right and follow the same instructions.

(5) FORWARD FLEXION

Begin in a straight-ahead position. Lower your head until your chin touch your chest, IF POSSIBLE. Only move to a comfortable level when beginning. Return to starting position after 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times and increase reps overtime to 20.

(6) NECK EXTENSIONS

Begin in starting position facing forward with a straight spine. Slowly move your head back as far as possible while remaining comfortable. Hold for 10 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat 10 times and increase reps overtime to 20.

(7) DEEP STRETCHES

Never stretch to a point that is not comfortable for you. Begin in a seated position facing forward. Move your head to the left and hold for 10 seconds, return to start and follow same instructions to the right. Repeat 10 times and increase reps overtime to 20. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/flexibility-exercises/