Neck pain can be an inhibiting ailment to manage on your own, especially as you try to carry out daily tasks like working and running errands. Neck pain is distracting and can leave you unable to focus your undivided attention on the things that really matter in your life.
Thankfully, there are many treatment options available for those suffering from cervicalgia, and having a team of wellness specialists on your side can help the pain-relief journey move at a more rapid pace.
If you are looking for a comprehensive solution to your symptoms, the licensed chiropractors at Optimum Health Rehab in Tucker are skilled and experienced in relieving many types of neck pain.
Take control of your health with the resources available from our local team of professionals. To speak with a trusted member of our team, contact us online or call (404) 793-1600.
Best Options for Neck Pain Treatment
Approaching pain-relief treatments for the cervical spine can look different for everyone because of the wide variety of causes and treatment methods that are out there. The right treatment is dependent on the patient’s unique pain points, which can be assessed by a wellness specialist.
The cervical spine consists of bones supported by rubbery discs, fully surrounded by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Neck pain can come from misalignment, creating an inflamed nerve, or it can come from tension that targets the muscles.
An assortment of pain pills, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, are commonly used to treat cervicalgia, but these methods fail to target the root of the pain and may only temporarily relieve the symptoms.
Physical therapy is one of the most common treatment methods that attack the root of the problem, which typically yields more productive pain relief in the long run. A care specialist from Optimum Health will work with you to develop a plan of action to target and treat your ongoing neck pain and promote a more rapid natural healing process within your body.
Using non-invasive, therapeutic methods, the services at Optimum can greatly impact the general wellness of your neck and spine.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain, otherwise referred to as cervicalgia, hugs the muscles and joints around the neck or spreads out and flares in other parts of the body, stemming from the neck.
Neck pain is most commonly related to the muscles or nerves that sit in this sensitive area. This common condition will affect up to 80% of people at one point or another but can be a constant situation for up to 50%.
Persistent neck pain can be caused by many different factors that affect each sufferer in a unique way. Cervical spine issues can either develop suddenly or have a gradually intensifying effect.
Pain in the neck is categorized in one of two ways; axial and radicular. Axial neck pain specifically affects the inner workings of the neck, whereas radicular pain can spread to surrounding body parts like the shoulders, arms, and upper back.
Regardless of what type of neck pain you are experiencing, the best way to prevent the pain from consistently coming back is to treat the cause of the pain instead of nurturing the symptoms.
While there are many causes for ongoing neck pain, some of the most commonly experienced include:
- Injury: Injuries to the neck should always be taken seriously because of the area’s sensitive connection to places like the brain stem, spinal cord, and nervous system. Any jolt or sudden impact can force the neck to move in an ill-fitting way, possibly resulting in symptoms like tension, stiffness, and whiplash. In cases of auto accidents alone, the U.S. sees and treats over 800,000 cases of neck-related injuries. A neck injury can leave the sufferer with long-term pain if ignored.
- Weakened joints: As we age, the movements and activities of daily life begin to feel harder because of the degeneration in the support system in our bones and joints. Conditions like osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis become increasingly more common the older a person gets. These conditions regard the wear and tear that our cartilage and discs take on as we move around during our day-to-day lives.
- Muscle strain: It’s easy to shock your muscles if you make repeated or strenuous motions without warming up first. Overexertion is one of the most common causes of neck pain because as we overwork the muscles and tendons around the neck and shoulders, tension will build a limiting range of motion and create painful sensations.
- Health conditions: While less common than many of the other listed causes, some serious health conditions can create symptoms like extreme neck pain. Consistent, ongoing neck pain can be a symptom of meningitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even certain types of cancer. To rule out any serious conditions, discuss any and all concerns with your doctor.
How Can I Prevent Neck Pain?
Preventative care can always provide a good baseline for stopping the rapid advancement of pain anywhere in the body. Many of the most common causes of neck pain are actually caused by unproductive and unhealthy habits.
Preventing cervicalgia includes instilling dedication to new habits that impact your daily routine and slowly kicking out bad habits that slow you down. This home treatment for neck pain can be effective in decreasing or preventing neck pain.
While some types of neck pain may feel unavoidable, like instances due to injury or genetics, the following tips can help relieve the painful effects of cervicalgia if practiced consistently:
- Practicing good posture: Slouching can feel comfortable in short increments, but standing and sitting up straight can have positive effects in preventing excessive wear and tear on tendons in the neck.
- Stay active throughout the day: Committing to a daily exercise routine can be beneficial for reducing pain all over and can specifically release tense muscles in the neck. Stretching, light cardio, and other low-impact exercises can warm up the muscles all throughout the body and stop them from stiffening up.
- Avoid heavy weight on shoulders: Neck pain can start in other places like the shoulders. Relying on your shoulders to carry heavy weights like purses and backpacks can gradually impact posture and create intense neck and back pain.
- Find the right sleeping position: Everyone has a favorite sleeping position, but your favorite may not actually be the most effective way to protect yourself from developing pain. Our bodies get used to our ‘favorite’ sleeping positions, which makes them more and more comfortable as we age. Sleeping on your sides or stomach can create neck pain because of the unbalanced pressure put on areas in your neck and back. Sleeping flat on your back with your head slightly elevated by a pillow is generally recommended as the most efficient way to protect your cervical spine.
- Stretch upper back muscles daily: When we remain in the same position for long periods of time, like sleeping or sitting at an office, our muscles can stiffen from the lack of movement. Simple movements like rotating the neck both clockwise and counterclockwise, up and down, and side to side can release tension and prevent it from building up.
Is Neck Pain Treatable at Home?
While many people rely on quick fixes like over-the-counter medication and pain relieving patches, many of these drugstore products can only provide temporary relief. However, there are small changes that a person suffering from cervicalgia can make at home in an effort to complement their treatment plan and promote even more rapid progress.
Reversing overwhelming neck pain can be a journey, but these tips can aid a sufferer’s body in the healing process:
- Avoid processed and excessively sugary foods: Foods with excessive amounts of sugar can be detrimental for people with ongoing neck pain. Sugary foods cause a spike in insulin which leads to reactions that promote inflammation. Processed foods tend to be high in sugar but also different types of processed fat which also have the same inflammatory effect.
- Stress reduction techniques: Stress can lead to ongoing neck pain because of the physical symptoms that stressful situations often bring about. Stress also over-activates the immune system and can cause inflammation throughout the body.
- Quit smoking: Smoking has a link to both inflammation and disc degeneration which can result in chronic neck pain. Quitting can greatly reduce your risk of developing long-lasting discomfort in the cervical spine.
Get Relief From Persistent Neck Pain at Optimum Health in Tucker
Ongoing pain in a heavily relied-upon area like the neck can be overwhelming and exhausting to manage. Instead of conforming to the pain, a wellness specialist from Optimum Health can help you attack the pain at the source using non-invasive methods that provide long-term relief.
Working with care specialists instead of coping with extreme neck pain in isolation can prevent common issues like accidental experimentation, where you treat yourself like a research project and attempt every combination of at-home methods under the sun.
Our staff is committed to providing aid for each patient that we see and is dedicated to their long-term wellness. To get in touch with a trusted member of our team, contact us online or call (404) 793-1600.