Neck discomfort is a frequent problem that may be induced by a wide range of medical disorders. It may vary in severity from moderate to severe, with the more extreme stages suggesting a major underlying issue.
Mild or moderate neck pain can normally be managed at home and resolves in a few weeks, but if you experience severe neck pain abruptly as a result of injuries, such as after a vehicle accident or a fall, you should seek medical help right once. If you have numbness or a lack of strength in the hands or arms and shooting pain down the arm, you should see a doctor.
Signs of Neck Pain
The following symptoms may be associated with neck pain:
Aching that doesn't seem to go away
A stabbing of pain
Burning or tingling sensations
Sensitivity to light pressure or tenderness
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When you keep the head in one position for a long time, the pain grows worse.
Muscle spasms or stiffness
Neck discomfort may be axial (restricted to the neck) or radicular (affecting the whole body), which extends to areas including the arms or shoulders). A headache may accompany it, as well as tingling or numbness in both or one arm. Neck discomfort may be acute, lasting a few days to weeks, or persistent, lasting many months to years.
Reasons for Neck Pain
The cervical spine (neck and upper back) is composed of 7 vertebral bones that support the head. Vertebral discs divide the bones, which are strengthened by a network of ligaments and muscles (connective tissue). Neck discomfort may be caused by issues with any of the structures, as well as nerves in or around the neck.
1. Muscle Sprain or Strain
The third and fourth cervical nerves govern the levator scapula muscle, which runs the length of the side and back of the neck and links the cervical spine to your shoulder. A stiff neck may result from a muscular injury or strain, especially in this region.
The muscle of the neck can get strained or sprained while doing everyday activities.
If you tend to sleep without a proper pillow that supports the curves of your neck's vertebrae, it can make the muscles stretch unnecessarily during the night. This poor posture can put a strain on your neck in the long term. It is better to get a pillow that is specially designed to support your neck while you are resting –whether you sleep on your back or the side.
One of the biggest complaints of neck pains is due to poor posture. This is especially true for employees who work at their desks for a long time with bad posture. Neck discomfort is caused by stressing the ligaments and muscles that support your neck, which may lead to damage over time.
The most prevalent example of bad posture that causes neck discomfort is the head-and-shoulders forward stance. When your neck curves forwards, the head is placed in front of the shoulders.
The muscles in the neck and upper back gain 10 pounds for every inch that the head moves forward. A 5-inch forward movement adds 50 pounds of force to the equation. To prevent this, remember to keep the chin tucked inside. The upper back slumps forward as a result of this position, putting pressure on the whole spine.
This is why it is important to invest in an ergonomic workstation that supports your neck and back muscles. Getting an ergonomic chair that supports the lower back, upper back, shoulders, and neck can be the best thing you do for your posture. This chair offers reliable lumbar support that will allow the pressure to release from the body while you are working. The back has a breathable mesh fabric that allows you to stay cool. It also offers an armrest with three adjustable points that allows you to work in an ergonomic way while supporting your body. Even the headrest offers an adjustable lifting system that can alleviate neck pain according to your personal needs.
Having the monitor of your work desk too low can also be bad for your neck. It should ideally be high enough to be at eye level so that your neck is straight. Whether you get an exercise bike for desks or work with an ergonomic chair, getting a workstation that offers you adjustable height features can be the best option.
The Kana Bamboo standing desk has a dual motor that adjusts the height of the desk to accommodate your height. This means that you can adjust the desk itself so that the monitor is in the right position and you have an ergonomic angle to use your keyboard and mouse. Using it in the standing mode can also help with your back and neck pain since working in a sedentary position throughout the day has been shown to increase neck pain.
A lot of people who regularly engage in repetitive activity that can involve turning your head from side to side can strain it. For example, swimmers need to turn their heads a lot, which can result in a stiff neck.
2. Disorders of the Cervical Spine
The cervical spine is made up of the top half of your neck's spinal vertebrae, cord, and discs. The misalignment of any region of a cervical spine causes discomfort and stiffness in the neck. Neck stiffness may be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as:
Facet joint problems are caused by osteoarthritis, which causes the facet joints in the rear of the spinal column to wear down.
3. Herniated Disc
This is a significant problem that may irritate and discomfort your nerve roots in your neck disc, as well as pain in your arms.
Due to the restricted neural pathway in the spinal cord, cervical osteoarthritis may induce muscular spasms and neck stiffness.
Inflammation and rigidity of the neck, as well as a high temperature, headache, and nausea, are symptoms of a bacterial infection inside the fluid membranes of the spinal cord and brain. If you experience any of these symptoms, get medical help right away since it might be a sign of meningitis. Other illnesses that affect the cervical spine and vertebral body, including vertebral osteomyelitis or meningococcal disease, may also induce stiff neck symptoms. If you have a sore neck, a fever, feel queasy, and are light-sensitive, it might be an indication of a viral illness such as the flu.
Sprains, muscle injuries, and maybe strains on the ligaments in the neck might occur as a consequence of an accident, sports disaster, or falls in which your head is forcibly thrown about. Neck stiffness and discomfort are the most common symptoms of these injuries.
Osteoarthritis is the result of regular wear and strain on your neck joints as you get older, resulting in stiffness and limited neck mobility. While RA is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints in the upper area of the neck, it may cause significant neck stiffness or pain. Arthritis may also cause your spinal canal to shrink, resulting in a pinched nerve that causes pain to radiate down your arms, legs, and neck stiffness.
The neck pain you are feeling may just be soreness from bad posture and working at your desk all day. If this is the case, investing in a better workstation can help you in the long run. If the problem is more severe, you should definitely visit a physician to get to the bottom of the issue. Ignoring the signs of neck pain can affect your body in the long run since better spine health is vital for overall functioning.