neck pain, Uncategorized

3 main causes of neck stiffness

1. Muscle strain

Any activity that places your neck in an awkward position for an extended amount of time could cause neck muscles to become fatigued and spasm. For example, holding your phone against your shoulder while you talk, sleeping with your neck at an awkward angle, carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, or having to look too far downward or upward to view your computer screen can all cause neck stiffness.

2. Cervical spine disorders

The cervical spine encompasses all of the discs, bones, joints, muscles, and nerves in your neck. The spinal cord also runs through the centre of the vertebrae (bones) in your cervical spine.

3. Infection

A stiff neck caused by an infection is rare compared to the other causes above, but it is a serious medical condition. For example, meningitis can cause a stiff neck by infecting and inflaming the meninges, which are the protective membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

neck pain

How to loosen tight muscle around the neck?

Forward and Backward Tilt is one of the ways to loosen tight muscle around the neck:

neck pain

WHEN IS NECK SURGERY A GOOD IDEA FOR NECK PAIN?

Neck surgery usually is considered a treatment for neck pain only when all other approaches have failed. Most doctors would rather encourage a patient first try treating their neck pain using medicine, rest, and physical therapy.

If cervical degeneration causes myelopathy (spinal cord dysfunction), radiculopathy (dysfunction of nerves to the neck or arms), or abnormal neck motion, surgery may be necessary. The surgical goal is to reduce pain and restore spinal stability. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

neck pain

WHEN TO RESUME WORK AFTER ARTIFICIAL CERVICAL DISC REPLACEMENT SURGERY?

On average, artificial disc replacement recovery time takes about 3-5 weeks; however, artificial disc replacement recovery time varies from patient to patient. Many patients can return to light activities and desk work within 1 week, but a few may not be at full activity level for up to 3 months. Importantly, since the vertebrae do not need to fuse together after artificial disc replacement surgery, recovery time is shorter than it is for spinal fusion surgery. https://www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk/patient-leaflets/cervical-discectomy/451507

neck pain

NECK PAIN, WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP IF YOU HAVE NECK PAIN? TESTING AND DIAGNOSING 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 intervertebral discs. These discs allow the spine to move freely and act as shock absorbers during activity.

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.
  • A 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 are 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 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

. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

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/

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.

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=
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=
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=
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=
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=
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

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/