Many of us experience neck pain occasionally because of several factors. This pain, in most cases, clears after a few days without treatment. However, in some instances, you may need a trip to an ER near you for treatment.
Regardless of the severity of the treatment, it is important to know what causes the pain and how to get rid of it to prevent further complications.
The neck is the start of your spinal cord and it connects the head to the shoulders and chest. The neck joints and vertebrae allow you to move the head swiftly. However, any abnormalities and inflammation in these discs will cause pain, stiffness and make it hard for you to move your head.
Neck pain can be triggered by several factors that include:
1. Muscle tension and strain
Poor posture and overuse of the neck muscles are the common cause of neck pain. Poor posture can develop when you seat at your desk for an extended period without changing your position or sleeping in a bad position. Bad posture puts pressure on your neck muscles triggering tension and strain.
You can injure your neck in a fall, car accidents, sports, or exercising. An injury can cause the muscles to move outside of the normal range. A neck injury or whiplash is an emergency and you may need to visit the nearest emergency room.
This is the inflammation of the membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Viral and bacterial infections are the common causes of meningitis. When the fluid surrounding the meninges gets infected you may develop a stiff neck among other symptoms.
Several types of arthritis can affect your joints and body. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the body symmetrically. It causes pain, swelling of the bone spurs and joints. The pain starts in the hands and spreads to the rest of the body including the neck.
Osteoarthritis affects the protective cartilage that cushions the bones. This causes the bone to wear out which damages the joint causing pain.
As age, the old bone breaks down quicker than the body can make a new one. This will cause the bone to form holes and become weak and fragile. Osteoporosis causes compression of the spine, leading to pain and neck stiffness.
6. Disc degeneration
Cervical discs degenerate with age causing cervical spondylosis. This causes the spaces between the vertebrae to narrow. leading to pain and stress of the joints.
7. Nerve compression
The disc can protrude due to injury and trauma, adding pressure to the spinal cord. Herniated cervical disc or ruptured disc is a cause of severe pain in the neck, and you need to visit an emergency room near you for treatment.
8. Spinal stenosis
This occurs when the space in the spinal cord narrows, causing pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots. Inflammation is a common cause of spinal stenosis.
You need urgent care for neck pain if you have a fever, headache, trouble swallowing and breathing, tingling, and numbness.
If you have neck pain due to a fall or an accident, visit an ER for neck pain.
Since most of the neck pain is mild to moderate, self-care will suffice, and the pain will clear within a couple of days. If the neck pain continues, you may need a doctor’s assessment and treatment.
Some of the treatment you can use include:
Poor posture is the main-culprit together with age-related wear and tear of the joints. Some simple changes in your habits may help.
If you continue experiencing pain, visit Express ER for further assessment and treatment.