What Causes Neck Pain and How to Prevent It?

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Experiencing neck pain once in a while is common. In most cases, neck pain or stiff neck occurs due to poor posture, improper sleeping position, overuse, or normal wear and tear. Sometimes, it may also be due to injuries, accidents, and falls involving the neck.

Typically, neck pain is a minor condition which many people do not worry about as it can be treated with simple remedies and, before you know it, it has already disappeared. However, be careful, too, as some cases of neck pain indicate that there might be a more serious underlying condition. If this is the case, it is important to seek medical care and attention right away.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

There are three main causes of neck pain. Find out if any of the following is causing you pain in the neck.

One of the major reasons why an individual acquires neck pain is muscle tension and strain. This usually develops when you sit all day without changing positions such as at work, sleep with your neck in an uncomfortable position, twitch your neck during exercise, or have a poor posture. To avoid straining your muscles in the neck, make sure to change your daily routines such that your neck won’t be too stressed.

Another common cause of neck pain is experiencing injuries or accidents, such as falls, vehicular accidents, or sports-related injuries where the neck gets affected and the ligaments and muscles got dislocated from their normal positions. During more serious injuries when the neck gets fractured or dislocated, the spinal cord can be affected, too. Neck pain due to vehicular accidents is called whiplash. (Read: Everything You Need to Know about Whiplash)

There are health disorders and conditions that cause neck pain, including arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, meningitis, slipped disc, and even heart attack. Thus, if suddenly your neck feels some unexplainable pain, make sure to have your overall health checked up to identify what other disorder you may have.

Quick and Easy Neck Pain Relief Tips

If you are suffering from minor neck pain, you may want to try the following measures in order to reduce the ache.

  1. At the onset of the pain, apply ice on your neck. After a couple of days, apply heat on the neck using hot compress or heating pad, or simply take hot showers.
  1. Over-the-counter pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen should help get rid of the pain temporarily.
  1. While the pain is still present, avoid sports and other activities such as heavy lifting that may aggravate your condition. Resume normal routine once the neck pain has subsided.
  1. Regularly work out your neck by doing simple stretches and turns.
  1. Maintain a good posture.
  1. Move and change positions often. Avoid standing up or sitting down for long periods of time.
  1. Get a neck massage. The soothing pressure applied to your neck will minimize the pain and tension in the muscles.
  1. Get a chiropractic adjustment to restore strength and mobility of the affected muscles in the neck.

Any pain you feel in your body – no matter how minor – should not be neglected. Make sure that you take necessary measures to know what you are feeling how serious it is, and how to treat and prevent it recurrence.

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