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The neck, a network of bones, joints, muscles, and nerves, has important function-providing mobility and support for the head, while being a key pathway for critical nerve activity and feedback. When an individual experiences neck pain, the cause may be in any of these areas. For instance, irritation in the nerve pathway of the neck may lead to head and shoulder pain. Irritation in the spinal cord may cause pain in the legs.
In most cases, acute neck pain often subsides within a few days to weeks. However, if this pain persists beyond a few weeks, it may signal an underlying medical issue that requires immediate medical attention from Arizona pain specialists.
Neck pain may range from minor to excruciating. In severe cases, it may interfere with your ability to sleep, go about daily life, and even concentrate. Short-term neck pain is a fairly common concern for most Arizonans, often resulting from poor posture, strained muscles, arthritis, etc., especially for people work in front of a computer from 9-5.
Causes of chronic neck pain
If your neck pain has persisted for three months or more, it would be worth talking to an Arizona pain specialist about the following conditions.
1. Cervical SpondylosisIt is an umbrella word for degeneration that happens in the neck. The condition occurs due to wear and tear. An injury can accelerate this condition. It may result from the following:
Poor posture is associated with chronic neck pain. If your neck pain lasts for three months or more, seek chronic neck pain treatment.
4. Uncommon causesLess common conditions that may cause chronic neck pain include:
When the muscles of the neck receive spastic, involuntary nerve signals, this can cause stiffness and constant pain.
Preventing chronic neck pain
Did you know that 13% of Americans experience neck pain at any given time? Can you recall a time when you woke up with pain in your neck? Whether your neck pain is acute or chronic, consider the following tips for preventing neck pain recommended by sports physical therapists.
1. Sleep on your back.
Sleeping on your back is a good position for promoting proper spine alignment. It gives the spine complete rest. If you have neck problems, place a pillow beneath each arm to help realign the rest of your upper skeletal system and take the strain off the neck. If you have stenosis or spinal arthritis, sleep at a slight incline. If you are a side sleeper, make sure that you are using a pillow that is not too thick, but still properly supports your neck in alignment with the spine. Some individuals also can find relief with a stiffer pillow between their legs, to keep their spine from twisting out of good alignment during the night.
2. Place the computer at eye level.
When you look at the computer screen, your gaze should fall at the top third of the screen. If you are looking down, then raise the height of the monitor. In case you’re using a laptop, consider using a table to increase the height.
3. Stretch your neck.
Regular stretching and neck exercises help strengthen the neck muscles. The chin tuck is a simple exercise. It improves the flexibility of the muscles that keep the head aligned over the shoulders. It also helps to stretch the sub-occipital and scalene muscles.
4. Use earphones
.Do you spend a lot of time on the phone? The constant phone cradling and head tilting place a lot of strain on your neck. Use earphones or a hands-free device like an earpiece or headset when you speak on the phone.
5. PEMF therapy
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy or PEMF stimulates the body’s healing abilities at the cellular level. In PEMF, the therapist will place a resonating magnetic device over the injured or painful area. The device gives out magnetic pulses directly into the cells. It gives the cells an energy boost resulting in regeneration of damaged tissue, improved cellular activity, and reduced pain. PEMF directly addresses the root cause of the pain symptoms.
6. Physical therapy
It is a common treatment option for chronic neck irritation. A sports rehabilitation therapist will apply treatments to reduce the stiffness and minimize the pain via an exercise regimen. It includes a series of stretches and strengthening exercises. The goal of physical therapy for neck pain is to:
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