What is Neck Pain?

In our daily life, our neck is more active than we think. We actively use our neck muscles while driving, talking, looking in the mirror, or walking with a group of people. Dear patients, I would like to inform you about the complaints about the neck region, which is of critical importance for our lives, but which only attracts our attention when it hurts, about the diseases and treatments that occur.

There is a coordinated and dense network of nerves, joints, muscles and bones in the region that we define as the neck and medically we refer to as the cervical spine. The neck region has a very important function in terms of keeping the head upright and moving. Common neck pain disappears within a few days. There are many different factors that can cause neck pain. Injuries, being in the draft, sleeping in the wrong position and moving suddenly cause short-term and spontaneous neck pain, which we describe as acute.

Pay Attention: If neck pain lasts longer than 4 weeks, a specialist should be consulted. Evaluation of long-term pain expressed as subacute or chronic is of great importance in terms of long-term life comfort.

 

Types and Causes of Neck Pain

Dear patients, I would like to give information about the causes of neck pain and types of neck pain that many people complain about at some point in their lives. First of all, it is important to remember that there are no serious causes behind every neck pain. However, pain follow-up is among the issues that must be considered in terms of both early diagnosis and comprehensive treatment options.

Neck pain symptoms can vary depending on the person and the cause. It is generally stated that neck pain is punctual and this pain disappears within a few days. Neck pain due to simple causes, which we define as acute pain, is usually punctual. However, it is possible for a mild neck pain to become chronic or for different problems to arise under this pain.

If I need to classify neck pains according to their duration;

  • Pain that we describe as acute pain and lasts less than 4 weeks, usually with simple causes,

  • Pains that we define as Subacute lasting between 4 and 12 weeks and which must be investigated for the cause,

  • We can examine in 3 classes as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks, that is, 3 months, and which we express as chronic pain, the cause of which must be investigated and the pain that must be treated.

Causes of Acute Neck Pain

As I mentioned above, the most common neck pain is acute pain and gets better in a short time.

Acute neck pain is usually;

  • bad posture

  • sleeping in the wrong position

  • intensely engaging in sports that involve repetitive movements, such as dancing or swimming

  • They occur due to trauma.

It is useful to underline that these pains, which heal in a short time and usually spontaneously, should be followed closely by the person. These pains, which occur as muscle tension and muscle spasm, may not always occur due to soft tissue injuries. It is rare that some spasms indicate a problem with the cervical spine.

Causes of Chronic Neck Pain

When neck pain persists for more than a few months, we call it chronic pain. Dear patients, if you have chronic neck pain complaints, you should definitely see a specialist.

Chronic neck pain is usually;

  • neck hernia

  • Neck straightening

  • Degenerative disc disease with symptoms similar to neck hernia

  • They occur due to cervical osteoarthritis, a chronic joint disease.

The cause of chronic pain must be found and a treatment plan must be made accordingly. The diseases I mentioned above indicate problems in the vertebrae, the discs between the vertebrae and the layers that protect the vertebrae. If treatment is not planned, serious problems such as nerve compression and loss of feeling in the arms and loss of strength may occur.

Other Causes of Neck Pain

I would like to mention other reasons that may cause neck pain in valuable patients. Because many different diseases can have an effect on the emergence of this pain, and all possibilities must be evaluated for a successful treatment planning.

Stress: As stress is the root cause of many problems in our lives, it can also be the cause of neck pain.

Infection: Infections in the neck spine, that is, in the cervical spine, are characterized by neck pain.

Myofascial pain syndrome: This syndrome, which is a chronic condition and causes chronic pain with trigger points, can manifest itself as neck pain.

Fibromyalgia: This problem, which can occur in the muscles, tendons or ligaments in the neck area, is very difficult to diagnose, but it can cause neck pain.

Spinal tumor: Tumors that develop in the cervical spine, or commonly known as neck spine, can cause tissue damage and pressure on the nerve, resulting in neck pain.

What Is Good For Neck Pain?

Neck pain, which is quite common, can be relieved with a comfortable treatment planning. Dear patients, at this point, I would like to give you information on a wide range from the easiest methods used in the treatment of neck pain to the most comprehensive techniques. However, even if you have a chronic neck pain problem or a neck hernia diagnosis, you should keep in mind that surgical techniques and treatment are used at a very low rate.

What Is Good For Acute Neck Pain?

Short-term neck pain that many people experience at some point in their lives can be cured in a few steps. My suggestions for these pains that the person can overcome with a little care;

Rest: Avoiding pain that will tire the neck area with short-term rest is a very effective treatment method for acute neck pain.

Cold compress: Relief of the area with cold compress in neck pain caused by trauma, 15-minute applications with 2-hour intervals are effective in alleviating the pain.

Moving slowly: For neck pain that develops due to muscle tension or what we describe as neck stiffness, it will be comforting to restrict the movements a little and not to force the aching area.

Dear patients, when you cannot benefit from the treatment methods that are good for neck pain and can be applied at home, we need to evaluate subacute and chronic neck pain types depending on the continuity of the pain. At this point, it should be focused on treatments that should be applied or planned by experts.

 

How Is Neck Pain Treated?

Physiotheraphy

Physical therapy is recommended to strengthen the muscles in the region from the treatment of neck pain, which we define as subacute and chronic, that is, lasting longer than 4 weeks. Differential diagnosis is of great importance in physical therapy planning. Treatment planning should be done depending on the cause of neck pain.

Medication

Non-steroidal pain relievers are primarily used in the treatment of neck pain. If these drugs and muscle relaxants do not offer any solution for pain, opioid-containing drugs that must be used with the recommendation of a physician can be used in the treatment process.

Injection

Long-term relief can be achieved with an injection method known as radiofrequency ablation, which is applied with a needle inserted into the sensory nerves of the facet joints. With trigger point injection or injection of cortisone steroid solutions, it is possible to reduce inflammation in the area and, accordingly, reduce the level of pain.

Pay Attention: Neck pain treatment by injection must be performed by specialists. I think that even healthcare professionals who work in this field and do not have experience should keep their distance from injection therapy. Dear patients, please do not forget that any intervention on the spine has serious risks.

Neck Pain Surgery

At a very low rate, it becomes a surgical requirement.

  • In cases where the nerve root needs to be opened

  • When the spinal cord needs to be opened

  • Surgical intervention may be recommended when neck vertebrae need to be stabilized.

Beware: Surgical intervention should not be performed for neck pain only for the reasons I have listed above. The decision for surgical intervention should be made based on the imaging results, the tests performed for diagnosis, as well as additional symptoms such as loss of strength and sensation in the arm.

 

What is Neck Flattening?

Neck straightening, or as it is called in medicine, cervical lordosis straightening occurs with the deterioration of the natural curved structure of the 7 vertebrae in the neck region. The most prominent symptom of this disorder, which is characterized by the loss of the natural curve, is neck pain. The pain that occurs due to neck straightening can progress to the shoulder and lumbar region.

Dear patients, in addition to neck pain;

  • Numbness

  • Tingle

  • If you have symptoms such as loss of urination and defecation control, I definitely recommend that you get an expert opinion.

Beware: Neck flattening is a disease that can cause serious problems when neglected. This problem usually occurs due to mechanical causes and can be easily treated. However, if the flattening reaches the level of kyphosis, the need for surgical intervention arises.

What is Neck Stuck?

One of the neck disorders that many people experience as a result of soft tissue sprains and increased muscle tension is stiff neck. Stiff neck may occur due to reasons such as sleeping in an inverted position and being in the wind. When neck pain occurs, neck movements are usually restricted. The main reason for this is that the pain in the area is revealed when the neck is moved. There may also be a feeling of numbness in the neck, shoulders and arms.

Dear patients, stiff neck is an easily treatable disease. While the treatment can be completed in a few days with over-the-counter muscle relaxants, it is recommended to use a neck brace in people with severe neck stiffness.

Pay Attention: If neck stiffness is repeated frequently, if it occurs constantly in the same region, a specialist must be consulted in order not to cause spinal cord compression and to understand the reason for the sensitivity in the region.

 

Dear patients, in this article, I wanted to give you general information about neck pain and gave you advice for you to reach effective treatments with the right steps. However, when evaluating these recommendations, you should definitely not forget that you should definitely see a specialist for neck pain complaints that last longer than 4 weeks.

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