Neck Pain is a very common condition that is affecting our society today. The neck is the part of the body connecting the body to the head. It supports the weight of the head and has significant amount of motion. This makes the neck less stable and more vulnerable to injury. Neck pain can be from a number of causes.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
- Muscle strain- this can happen when lifting something heavy or when making sudden head movement.
- Poor posture- this is very common. Oftentimes we see people who are slouched in sitting or standing.
- Degenerative diseases- the discs in between the cervical spine are worn out causes the disc space to narrow. Sometimes the disc can also protrude, called herniated disc, causing pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots.
- Trauma- such as whiplash injury sustained in car accidents or falls.
- Pain in the neck often worsened by staying in a position for long periods of time such as driving or working on the computer
- Muscle tightness or spasms.
- Limited movement of the head and neck
- Pain shooting down 1 arm or both. Pain can reach as far as the fingers at times
When To Seek Medical Care
Most neck pain improves gradually with home treatment. If not, see your doctor or a trained professional.
- When neck pain occurs following an injury of trauma, you should seek medical care
- If pain is severe, continuous or persistent, it needs to be evaluated
- If pain radiates down the arm or legs, especially if it is accompanied by numbness, tingling or weakness, you should seek medical care
- If neck pain is accompanied by headache, it should be evaluated
Home Remedies for Neck Pain
- Use ice– this is very helpful when the cause of the pain is trauma or muscle strain. Apply ice to the area 2-3 times a day for 15-20 minutes each time.
- Use heat– this is very helpful when you have muscle spasm or tightness. Heat also helps improve limited movement of the head and neck.
- Move frequently– avoid prolonged positions. I suggest moving every 15 minutes if the neck pain is severe or neck is very tight. I recommend people who has desk jobs to move or take breaks every 30 minutes.
- Correct your posture– avoid slouching in sitting or standing. Imagine there is a string on top of your head being pulled up.
- Stretching and range of motion exercises such as the ones mentioned below are very helpful in decreasing pain and stiffness. Videos of these exercises can be found at our website RestorePlusNY.com under the Exercises tab.
- Upper trapezius stretch– Begin by retracting your head back into a chin tuck position. Next, place one hand behind your back and gently draw your head towards the opposite side with the help of your other arm. Repeat this 3 times and hold for 20 seconds each.
- Levator Scapulae stretch– Place the arm on the affected side behind your back and use your other hand to draw your head downward and towards the opposite side. You should be looking towards your opposite pocket of the affected side. Repeat this 3 times and hold for 20 seconds each.
- Shoulder rolls– Move your shoulders in a circular pattern so that you are moving in an up, back and down direction. Perform small circles if needed for comfort. Repeat this 15 times.
- Scapular squeeze– Draw your shoulder blades back and down. Repeat this 10 times and hold for 6 seconds each time.
Treatment for Neck Pain
If the above home remedies are not enough to relieve your neck pain or stiffness, Don’t Worry! We can design a specialized program that has shown great results at relieving your pain quickly. This program can consist of using different modalities including the revolutionary Laser treatment, manual therapy techniques and exercises. Call Restore Plus TODAY for more information or to schedule an appointment! (800) 905-0513.
Restore Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
33-10 Queens Blvd. Suite 301
Long Island City, NY 11101