Orthopedic Surgeon at German Medical Center FZ-LLC talks about the common causes of chronic and acute neck pain and available treatment options.
22 April 2018| Last updated on 2 October 2018
The neck comprises vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper body, separating the head from the torso. It contains nerves and blood vessels that link structures in the head to the body.
At some point of time in life, most of us experience some degree of neck pain. It can be a mild transient nuisance, or chronic and acute that affects our daily life. Generally, acute neck pain is caused by sudden trauma, such as a muscle strain or sprain, which often indicates an underlying systemic problem that requires a detailed treatment.
In most cases of neck pain, you get relief by taking rest or by taking some over-the-counter painkillers. However, in the case of chronic and acute neck pain, which lasts for many weeks or longer, a comprehensive treatment strategy is required.
6 Common Causes of Chronic Neck Pain
Among the long list of causes, aging-related wear and tear is the most common cause leading to chronic neck pain. Below-mentioned are some of the common causes of neck pain.
1. Wrong Sleeping Position
Sleeping in the wrong or an awkward position can result in neck pain and stiffness in the morning.
2. Poor Posture
Poor posture can affect almost everyone at any age, and it comes from the curvature of the spine below, and/or the tilt of the head above. Poor posture can also lead to joint degeneration in the spine.
3. Sports Injury
Neck and back injuries can occur in athletes who participate in some form of sporting activity. One of the common sports collision injuries is a stinger, which occurs when the nerves in the neck are impacted, radiating pain, numbness, and weakness in the shoulder, arm, and hand.
During a whiplash injury, the head and neck are forced backward and forward simultaneously with a great deal of force.
5. Repetitive Motion
While dancing or swimming, the head will be turned repetitively, leading to the overuse of muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck. These types of repetitive movements can cause chronic neck pain.
6. Chronic Neck Pain - How to Fix Things Right?
The treatment plan depends on the cause of the neck pain. However, the non-surgical method of treating cervical degenerative ailments provides excellent results in almost 75% of the patients nowadays. And, only in the cases of serious nerve compression, surgery is recommended as the best treatment option.
3 Common Treatment Methods
1. Rest and Relief
Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory pain medications and muscle relaxants to get relief from neck pain and inflammation. Use a cervical collar or braces for neck immobilization as it can reduce motion at the symptomatic level.
This method involves various types of exercises to decrease muscle spasms that contribute to the aggravation of pain, and strengthen the muscles that support the neck. Seeking the help of a qualified physiotherapist, along with the advice of your doctor, can help you relieve chronic neck pain.
Surgical method is usually considered a treatment for chronic neck pain only when all other methods have failed. When the pain becomes unbearable, affecting your everyday life, and the nerve compression symptoms start to cause limb weakness, surgery is ideal. Since minimally-invasive surgeries have many advantages, such as less pain, less scarring, faster recovery and quicker resumption of daily life activities, they can be a good option.
Chronic neck pain is a severe issue and is accountable for a considerable amount of disability and time lost from work. Remember, it can be relieved through a personalized treatment plan designed and executed by a dedicated team of medical professionals, and delay in seeking medical treatment can have adverse effects.