Pain in the neck is something that most of us will encounter at one time or another in our lives. Even though the term neck pain is very easy and straight forward, it is a very individual experience and the identification, evaluation and treatment should also be individually based. There are a whole range of causes for neck pain. As basic as this may sound it is important to keep in mind that the neck supports the mind. The human mind can weigh over 15 lbs. If you envision yourself carrying about a 15 pound weight daily it is not surprising that in the regular day to day activities of life you create strain on the neck and spine. Someone sitting at a keyboard all day with their head tilted in a specific angle can suffer with pain in the neck. Sleeping in a strange position can lead to pain. Lifting, bending, twisting, reaching and other ordinary day to day activities can lead to strain and pain.
Simply growing older is frequently a cause of pain in the neck. Degenerative Disc Disease and other degenerative disease processes like osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis are not rare in our aging population. These can cause significant pain problems for individuals. When trauma such as Whiplash type injuries in automobile accidents or slip and fall type accidents happen pain can be impulsive and very extreme. The injury can create a new medical condition such as a herniated disc that causes severe neck pain and sometimes neurological deficit. Tingling and numbness in the arms down can happen. Besides causing a new health condition that the injury can affect existing health conditions. For instance someone who would pre-exist degenerative disk disease in the normal aging process might have been completely pain free before the trauma. The trauma of an auto accident, while not causing the degenerative disk disease, might superimpose stresses that cause pain. What was formerly pain free today becomes painful and debilitating.
Although each of us May suffer from a pain in the neck at some point during our life, how we feel it, experience it and perceive that the pain will be different. Some people will find that their pain only happens when they tilt their heads backwards or forward. Others will feel neck pain when they turn their mind to the left or to the right. Still others will suffer with headaches, dizziness and/or vertigo. Some people’s pain will persist for a day. Other people will have pain for a couple weeks. Still others will endure ongoing chronic neck pain. Treatment for neck Pain may include drugs and physical interventions. Medications include easy, common pain killers like acetominiphine, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. Physical treatment may include physiotherapy, massage therapy, heat therapy, TENS therapy, acupuncture therapy and /or psychiatric treatment.