Pain or stiffness in the neck is extremely common and almost all of the time is absolutely nothing to worry about. Even with no treatment, it will invariably disappear on its own after a few days.
Neck pain can result from a number of everyday activities, like frequent computer use, sleeping in a bad position or tension caused by anxiety or stress.
Neck pain can also come suddenly, for no obvious reason. You can move the same way as you do every day, but all of a sudden your neck will stiffen and movement is extremely painful. This makes simple things like driving very complicated as it can severely restrict the movement of your neck for a short time. Little by little the pain will diminish and the range of movement will be restored to normal. This condition is called acute torticollis and the reason for it is not really known. It could be caused by bad posture, inadequate neck support in bed, or bad positioning when carrying heavy objects.
Some neck pain is simply due to age. It can be a type of arthritis called cervical spondylitis. This could be generalized as wear and tear and the symptoms could include the sensation of numbness, or pins and needles. Treatment should be by natural methods, avoiding medication wherever possible,
One more specific cause of neck pain is called whiplash. This is normally caused by the sudden impact of an auto accident. The tendons and ligaments of the neck are overstretched and the patient will normally require physical therapy. If not the resultant injury could become worse.
Pinched nerves are fairly common in older people, due to wear and tear; they are caused by vertebrae opening and the gel inside pushing onto a nerve.
There are some other, more serious, neck pains for which you will most certainly require professional care.
The typical self-administered treatment for neck pain is the application of a hot water bottle or a heat pack to the affected area. Ice packs can also offer some relief. It is also very important to use a pillow that correctly supports your neck. A firm pillow is the best, not a pile of fluffy ones!
Gentle exercises will often help to reduce the pain as well. Carefully twist your neck from side to side and up and down. Obviously avoid positions which increase the pain. Trial and error will be the best way to discover the best exercise for your specific problem.
If pain persists, or if it becomes unbearable, talk to us and we can develop a treatment plan for you.