neck pain

DIAGNOSING AND FINDING THE CAUSE OF NECK PAIN

Finding the cause of neck pain begins with a complete history and physical examination. After the history and physical examination, your doctor will have a good idea of the cause of your pain. To make sure of the exact cause of your neck pain, your doctor can use several diagnostic tests. These tests are used to find the cause of your pain. Regular X-rays are usually a first step in looking into any neck problem and will help determine if more tests are needed.

Complete History

A “complete history” is usually made up of two parts. The first part is written; a form that you fill out while you wait to see the doctor. While you fill out the form, take time to think about everything you can remember that relates to your neck pain and write it down. The more you can tell your doctor, the faster he or she can diagnose the cause and help relieve your pain. The second part of your history will be answering questions. Your doctor will ask you to describe when your neck pain began and the type of pain you are having.

Examples of questions that might be asked include:

  • When did the pain first begin?
  • Have you increased your activity level?
  • Have you had an injury, or surgery, to your neck at any time?
  • Does the pain go down into your arms or legs?
  • What causes your neck to hurt more or less?
  • Have you had any problems with your bowels or bladder?

Physical Examination

Once most of the information is gathered, your doctor will give you a thorough physical exam. During the exam, your doctor will look at your neck to find out how well it is functioning. This includes:

  • How well you can bend your neck and roll your head in all directions
  • How well you can twist your neck
  • If there is tenderness around the neck
  • If there are muscle spasms around the neck and shoulders

Tests that examine the nerves that leave the spine are also important. These include:

  • Testing for numbness in the arms and hands
  • Testing the reflexes
  • Testing the strength of the muscles in the arms, hands, and legs
  • Testing for signs of nerve irritation

X-rays

X-rays show the bones of the cervical spine. Most of the soft tissue structures of the spine, such as the nerves, discs, and muscles, do not show up on X-ray. X-rays can show problems that affect the bones, such as infection, fractures, or tumors of the bones. X-rays may also give some idea of how much degeneration has occurred in the spine. Also, narrowing of the disc space between each vertebra and bone spurs do show up on X-rays. The X-rays will be useful in showing how much degeneration and arthritis are affecting the neck. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

neck pain

NECK STIFFNESS & NECK EXERCISES

If you have neck stiffness you want to get rid of it as soon as you can. One of the ways to do that is through exercise. As long as your doctor says it’s OK, you should start as soon as possible to ease stiffness and pain. Resting for too long, usually anything more than a couple of days, will make it harder to get moving again.

Don’t exercise if you have severe neck pain or weakness in your hands or arms. If you get it while you exercise, stop right away and call your doctor.

Which Exercises Should to do?

Neck Tilt: From the sitting position, tilt your head down towards your chin Hold this position for 5 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do this five times.

Side-to-Side Neck Tilt. From the same starting position, tilt your 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.

Neck Turn. Look straight ahead, then turn your head to one side, keeping your chin at the same level. Do this five times on each side.

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 backward and hold for 5 seconds. Do the forward and backward stretch five times each.

If any of these exercises cause severe pain or weakness in your hands or arms, stop right away and talk with your doctor. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

back pain, neck pain

THE RIGHT PILLOW FOR NECK PAIN

The right pillow is essential in keeping the neck in a supported position with neutral alignment during sleep. Without the right pillow support, the neck will be stressed and will lead to daytime neck pain or stiffness.

The key is to find a pillow that is the right height and firm for the person’s size, sleeping position, and personal preferences. A pillow that is too high or firm does not allow the neck to relax fully during sleep. On the other hand, a pillow that is too flat also puts strain on the neck. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memory-Foam-Pillow-Sleeping-Gel-Infused/dp/B08N12M5QS/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?keywords=orthopedic+memory+foam+pillows+for+sleeping&qid=1638351723&sr=8-3-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyQ0RMS1g5SUlGNlJTJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTE0NDc2MVFCT05MQ1dYVDczTyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTA3MTg0MVVFOEYxT0RJNENVOSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

Best Pillows for Sleeping Positions

Sleeping positions are a major factor in determining the best kind of pillow.

When sleeping on the back. A fairly low pillow is better in this position. Extra support can be provided by adding a small rolled towel or a small roll-shaped pillow positioned under the neck.

When sleeping on the side. A higher pillow is advised in this case, so the neck and head are aligned straight over the shoulders as they would be when standing with good posture. A rolled towel or roll-shaped pillow should be put under the neck and supplemented with a pillow for the head.

When sleeping on the stomach. This position is not recommended because it tends to make the back arch and the head turn, stressing the neck.

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neck pain

THE RIGHT PILLOW FOR NECK PAIN

The right pillow is essential in keeping the neck in a supported position with neutral alignment during sleep. Without the right pillow support, the neck will be stressed and will lead to daytime neck pain or stiffness.

The key is to find a pillow that is the right height and firm for the person’s size, sleeping position, and personal preferences. A pillow that is too high or firm does not allow the neck to relax fully during sleep. On the other hand, a pillow that is too flat also puts strain on the neck.

Best Pillows for Sleeping Positions

Sleeping positions are a major factor in determining the best kind of pillow.

When sleeping on the back. A fairly low pillow is better in this position. Extra support can be provided by adding a small rolled towel or a small roll-shaped pillow positioned under the neck.

When sleeping on the back, it is best to place a pillow under the knees to minimize strain on the lower back as well.

When sleeping on the side. A higher pillow is advised in this case, so the neck and head are aligned straight over the shoulders as they would be when standing with good posture. A rolled towel or roll-shaped pillow should be put under the neck and supplemented with a pillow for the head.

When sleeping on the stomach. This position is not recommended because it tends to make the back arch and the head turn, stressing the neck. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

neck pain

FOUR EASY STRETCHES FOR NECK & SHOULDER PAIN

(A) Flexion Stretch

  • keeping the shoulder back, bring the chin toward the chest by bending the head straight forward. A slight stretch will be felt in the back of the neck.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

(B) Lateral Flexion Stretch

  • Start in an upright, standing position.
  • Keeping the shoulders even, bring one ear toward the shoulder by bending the head to one side. A slight stretch will be felt in the side of the neck.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds then repeat on the other side. 

(C) Levator Scapula Stretch

  • Stand straight, raise the right hand and elbow, and place it on a nearby wall or door.
  • While keeping everything else still, rotate the head to the left about 45 degrees which is about halfway toward the shoulder.
  • Tilt the chin down to the left collarbone until a good stretch is felt on the back right side of the neck.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds or as tolerated, repeat on the other side.

(D) Corner Stretch

  • Face the corner of a room or a doorway.
  • Position both feet together, about 2 feet away from the corner.
  • Place a forearm on each wall with the elbows slightly below shoulder height.
  • Lean forward until a good stretch is felt across the chest and shoulders. If any pain is felt, the stretch can be reduced or stopped altogether.
  • Hold the stretch 30 to 60 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 minutes.
neck pain

NECK PILLOW TO RELIEVE NECK, SHOULDER AND BACK PAIN

Back pain can be worsened by undue pressure on the neck and shoulders. This is often caused by a pillow that is too firm, or one that puts the head and neck in an uncomfortable angle. A pillow that relieves pressure will cradle the head and neck and reduce tension.

The best pillow for neck and shoulder pain is firm enough to hold the head at a healthy angle, but soft enough to alleviate pressure points. Most sleepers find success with a memory foam pillow as this material offer the best balance of support and pressure relief.

This pillow is available on the following link: Memory Foam Pillow for Sleeping – Ergonomic Design with Dual-Sided Firmness for Side, Back, and Stomach Sleepers – Cervical Support Pillows for Neck & Shoulder Pain, Charcoal & Gel-Infused : Amazon.co.uk: Home & Kitchen

neck pain

THE BEST PILLOW TO RELIEVE NECK AND SHOULDER PAIN

The best pillow for neck and shoulder pain is firm enough to hold the head at a healthy angle but soft enough to alleviate pressure points. Most sleepers find success with either memory foam, latex, buckwheat, or feather pillow, as these materials offer the best balance of support and pressure relief. An example of such pillow is available on the following link: Memory Foam Pillow for Sleeping – Ergonomic Design with Dual-Sided Firmness for Side, Back, and Stomach Sleepers – Cervical Support Pillows for Neck & Shoulder Pain, Charcoal & Gel-Infused: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

Dual-Memo Density foam gives you options for firmness. One day you might want a firmer pillow, and then the next day, you might want something softer? This pillow does both. Blue side is soft and grey side is firmer
Every feature of this therapeutic pillow was carefully thought out to get you the perfect night’s sleep you’ve been hoping for.
It comes with PE Bag.
Dual density. The white side is soft and the grey is firm.
Memory foam neck pillow material is breathable and hypoallergenic, meaning it contains no chemical irritants.
Simple to Care For. Simply unzip the pillow casing, and put the pillow case in the washing machine.
Stay Asleep and Wake Up Energized: When you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep, an overheated pillow doesn’t make it easy. That’s why we added our Activ-Air technology. It allows air to circulate through the pillow to keep it cool while you sleep.
neck pain

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A PILLOW FOR NECK PAIN?

(1) LOFT. The loft determines the angle of your head in relation to your spine. A pillow that’s too high or too low can force your neck to bend at an unnatural angle, causing strain and discomfort over time. That’s why sleep experts recommend choosing a pillow loft that keeps your head and neck aligned with your spine.

(2) SUPPORT. In addition to being the right height under your head, a pillow should also adequately support your neck.

(3) FIRMNESS LEVEL. The pillow firmness will determine where your head comes to rest, so it’s important to give this aspect careful consideration. Pillows that are too firm may cause pressure points, for example in the ears when side sleeping. On the other hand, pillows that are too soft may sag under your head and fail to provide proper support.

(4) PRESSURE RELIEF. A good pillow provides pressure relief by taking the strain off the neck and contouring to reduce pressure points. For the best pressure relief, choose a pillow that’s the appropriate shape and size for your sleeping position, and the appropriate firmness to alleviate pressure at contact points.

(5) PRICE. When shopping for a pillow, keep in in mind that certain types of pillows will last you for years, while others may need to be replaced after a year or two as their materials wear out and lose their loft or conforming abilities.

(6) QUALITY MATERIAL. Within broad categories such as memory foam or feather pillows, the quality of the individual pillow plays a significant role in determining its longevity and comfort. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

back pain, Facet joint radiofrequency denervation, neck pain

FACET JOINT RADIOFREQUENCY DENERVATION FOR NECK PAIN AND BACK PAIN

FACET JOINT

The spine is a column of bones arranged one on top of the other. The bones are linked at the back by joints called facet joints, one on each side. The facet joints hold the bones together and stabilise the spine, while also allowing movement.

The facet joints may become painful either due to wear and tear (also called degenerative change), stress or injury, although the reason is not always clear. Pain is felt around the facet joints and in the surrounding area. For example, pain starting from the joints of the lower back will often be felt in the buttocks and upper legs.

WHEN IS DENERVATION USED?

The denervation procedure is usually considered after trying less invasive treatments, such as medication, physiotherapy, transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS).

Exercise, acupuncture, yoga/pilates and relaxation therapy may also help ease back pain. Spine surgery could be also considered in selected cases.

Denervation is usually only considered if you have responded well to local anaesthetic injections near the affected areas, and these have helped to reduce pain.

WHAT IS THE FACET JOINT RADIOFREQUENCY DENERVATION

Facet joint radiofrequency denervation is a procedure in which nerve fibres supplying the painful facet joints are selectively destroyed by heat produced by radio waves and delivered through a needle.

The treatment is usually performed after an injection of a local anaesthetic close to the affected joints has helped to reduce feeling and pain.

The denervation treatment involves placing a special needle (radiofrequency probe) near the nerve of the joint; when a radiofrequency current is passed down the probe, a very small area of heat is created that causes a break in the nerve. This procedure does not affect any other part of the body. https://www.nice.org.uk/researchrecommendation/radiofrequency-denervation-what-is-the-clinical-and-cost-effectiveness-of-radiofrequency-denervation-for-chronic-low-back-pain-in-the-long-term