Neck pain or cervical pain is quite common nowadays. It is the consequences of unhealthy lifestyle, wrong posture, long working hours on laptop or cell phone, jerk due to accident, sport injury etc.
Neck consists of 7 cervical vertebrae which are interconnected with disks. Discs act as shock absorbers when there is a sudden jerk in the neck.
Dr. Saurabh Rawall, best spine surgeon in Noida, simplified neck pain; many times, neck injury is temporary, and gets better when the underlying cause is resolved. Long lasting neck pain will require proper diagnosis and medical care. Neck pain is multifaceted, multifactorial, so it is hard to localise the pain.
Neck pain and related symptoms:
Stiffness in neckpain in neck and shoulder bladeRadiating pain into hands and fingersNumbness in hands and fingersTingling sensation in fingersMuscle weaknessHeadaches especially in morningRestlessnessDisability to move neck side to side.
Reasons for neck pain:
Muscle spasm or strain: Poor posture, bad sitting arrangements for work, sudden jerk from exercise or weightlifting, sleeping position can cause muscle spasm or strain and leads to neck pain.
Injury to neck: Sport injuries due to fall, whiplash injuries those are rear end injuries when in car accidents due to backward jerks can damage soft tissues in neck.
Herniated disc:Neck pain is observed when the disc between vertebrae has cracks. Discs can not act as shock absorbers and pain radiates to hands and fingers. It causes numbness in the hands and fingers.
In Osteoarthritis, joints continue to damage; It leads to formation of new bone (Bone spur). The excess bone hinders the passage of nerves and nerves get compressed.
Herniated disc or bony spurs lead to compression of nerve from the spinal cord.
Wearing of joints: In osteoporosis, bones near the joints undergo small fractures that lead to neck pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling of joints, formation of bone spurs in neck region leads to pain.
Cervical Spondylosis: Due to aging, joints and discs in the cervical region degenerate, this is called neck arthritis or cervical osteoarthritis.
Tumour: Tumours of spinal cord or neck obstruct the surrounding structures and sometimes compress the nerve.
Diagnosis of neck pain:
Physical Examination: When a patient complains of shoulder pain, neck pain, pain in hands or fingers; doctor will examine your neck for tenderness, does pain aggravate or relieve any particular movement. Upward and downward movement of the neck, crossing your hands to pat your back etc are small exercises to rule out appropriate location of pain.
Neurological Evaluation: Physicians will evaluate reflexes of fingers to check whether the pain is due to nerve involvement.
After bedside evaluation is done, physicians will start primary care that is Medications, physiotherapy, and cervical traction.
Radiography: For further diagnosis, physicians will advise flexion and extension x-ray, MRI to look for skeletal changes.
Treatment of Neck Pain:
Treatment of neck pain is as follows:
Pain Medication: The pain-relieving medicines or muscle relaxants will help in reducing neck pain and muscle spasm, as well as sleep disturbance. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) are the drug of choice for neck pain.
Local application of ointment also gives relief in Neck pain. Alternate hot and cold fomentation will reduce muscle spasm.
Do not overuse over the counter medication, consultation with a doctor is required if pain persists for more than 2 weeks. Dr. Saurabh Rawall, Spine surgeon in Noida explained the fact that neck pain of degenerative origin will not be resolved by Pain medicines.
If spinal TB is diagnosed in the early stages, it can be cured only with medicines alone. 95% of the patients get cured without surgical intervention.
Injections: Sometimes pain reliever injections are given into muscles and nerves of the painful area. Steroid injections along with pain reliever injections found effective in pain of neurological origin. Ablation that is burning of nerves near the neck joint will provide mobility and reduce pain.
Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy is the best line of treatment. Stretching exercises will open the movement of the neck and strengthen the muscles around the neck. Physiotherapists will provide a daily home exercise regimen for neck pain. In the long run physiotherapy will help patients to get rid of neck pain and live a normal life.
Cervical traction: Cervical traction is another treatment option for neck pain. traction stretches neck muscles and soft tissues to separate disc and joint spaces; It relieves the pressure on the spinal nerves, hence minimise the neck pain. It can be used at home also.
Surgical approach: When should you consider surgery?When a non-surgical approach is not helping.Pain is worsening day by day.Weakness of hands and legs.Loss of balance.Compression of nerves.
When nothing is working for neck pain, the doctor will suggest surgery. Surgeries are required in degenerative disc diseases, instability of spine, accidental trauma and fracture, compression of nerve due to herniated discs and bone spurs. Various types of surgeries are performed to relieve neck pain such as decompression, spinal fusion etc.
Here are some tips to prevent neck pain from best neuro- spine surgeon in Noida, Dr. Saurabh RawallDo some physical activity every day.Sit in a comfortable position while working.Maintain proper posture, laptop should be at your eye level.Take proper sleep for 8 hours and sleeping position also matters.Stretching exercises will help neck muscles to strengthen.
Please consult your doctor for any queries related to neck pain and its treatment.
Dr. Name- Dr. Saurabh Rawall
Visit our YouTube channel.