Neck pain or Cervicalgia is a common disorder inflicting two-thirds of the world population. The area affected by pain is the lower neck region and upper back region. This area bears and supports the load of our head. The top three joints of the neck are responsible for maximum and flexible movement of neck and head. The lower joints and those constituting the upper back, collectively form an effective support system for the head. When this support system undergoes an adverse attack by any one of the several reasons, neck pain is generated. The root of the pain lies in the tightening of neck muscles and pinching of spinal nerves.
To understand neck pain, we have to first know about the structure of the neck. The spinal column in the neck is made up of seven vertebrae besetting the spinal cord and canal. Tiny discs occur between vertebrae and through the little opening at the sides of the discs pass the nerves of the neck. In other words neck region is a complex collection of neck muscles, arteries, veins, lymph glands, thyroid and parathyroid glands, wind pipe, food pipe or esophagus and larynx.
Medical conditions affecting any of these neck tissues lead to pain. The pain may be piercing: sharp shooting pain accompanied by tingling sensation and numbness in the neck and upper limbs, or may be in the form of a dull ache. The other symptoms associated with neck pain may be tenderness of neck muscles, difficulty in swallowing, gland swelling, pulsations, dizziness and swishing sounds in the head.
Causes of Back Neck Pain
- Spondylosis or degenerative arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid trauma
- Esophageal trauma
- Tracheal trauma
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Certain cancers
- Congenital cervical rib
- Spinal stenosis or constriction of the spinal canal
- Spinal disc hermiation or protruding discs
- Infections like retropharyngeal abscess etc
- Carotid artery dissection
- Referred pain due to acute coronary syndrome
- Traumatic or minor injuries or falls from car accidents or certain sports
- Cervical spine fracture
- Head injury
- Emotional and physical stresses
- Muscular strains due to over exertion or over use
- Poor sleeping and sitting postures
Neck Pain Treatment
Neck braces like soft collar, Philadelphia collar, halo, sterno-occipital device are often given to patients. These braces support the spine, compensate for neck muscle weakness, check the risk of further injury, quicken healing and also keep the neck in a proper position as is required.
Some patients are treated with ultrasound which can also be of help. The common medications for neck pain include analgesics like acetaminophen, carprofen, ketoprofen or Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine, massage creams containing counterirritants. Epidural steroid injections also are given to reduce inflammation of nerve roots. They are mainly used to treat spinal stenosis. Surgery may also be required in critical cases.
Herbal pain relief oil such as Rumatone Gold Oil is very effective ayurvedic herbal formula for getting relief from back neck pain. Regular application of this anti-inflammatory massage oil reduces pain and inflammation and provides lasting relief.
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