Home > Causes And Treatments of Extreme And Chronic Neck Pain

Causes And Treatments of Extreme And Chronic Neck Pain

Neck pain is an extremely common medical condition, and while, more often than not, it can be minor and easily overlooked, it sometimes can become excruciating and interfere with your normal daily activities. Whether you suffer from a stiff neck to a sharp stabbing localized pain, to soreness, tenderness, numbness or pain that radiates unto the shoulder and arms, treatment is available to alleviate pain.

Let’s take a look at the most common causes for neck pain and what you can do about it:

Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common causes of neck pain and it is caused by inflammation and instability generated by the natural aging and degeneration of a spinal disc. Exercise, physical therapy and rehabilitation done under the supervision of a trained health professional is recommended. Good posture, drinking lots of water and avoiding nicotine and alcohol can also help alleviate pain. Surgery is considered only as a last resort.

Neck strain. Having past posture, sitting for too long or in a bad position or a sudden movement while exercising can cause the muscles in the neck to strain and become tense. Pain-reducing medication and an anti-inflammatory medicine are often helpful in reducing pain. Stretch the muscles in the neck area by turning your head in a side to side and up and down motion. Apply heat and cold in 15 to 20 minute intervals during the first 24 hours to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation. A gentle neck massage can also work well at relieving tension and increasing the blood flow to the area.  

Whiplash. The sudden back and forth movement following a car accident, a slip and fall or a ride on a mechanical bull can cause the head to jerk outside of its normal range of motion, thus causing pain. Applying ice to the neck area and taking some painkillers are the most often recommended course of treatment. IN severe cases of whiplash, a doctor may prescribe a neck brace.  

Herniated disc. When the small, spongy discs that cushion your vertebrae become damaged, they may bulge or break open. Stretching, exercise, chiropractic manipulation and  physical therapy, as well ice and heat therapy are recommended to relieve pressure on the nerve root, which is the cause for the pain.

Pinched nerve. When a bone, cartilage, muscle or tendon applies pressure to a surrounding nerve, the nerve’s function is disrupted, causing pain, numbness, weakness or tingling. Most people recover from a pinched nerve with some rest. If your pain is severe, doctor-prescribed treatment may be necessary, ranging from oral corticosteroids, narcotics, steroid injections, physical therapy, a split or collar, and ultimately surgery.

Virus infection. Some virus infections of the throat can cause the lymph nodes to swell, leading to neck pain. In most cases, viruses go away on their own and need little to no treatment, however, some viral infections, such as meningitis, can be life-threatening. Seek medical advice if you experience neck pain in combination with a fever.