05 Jul What Does Your Neck Pain Mean?
Did you know that the muscles and nerves in the neck and shoulders can extend all the way down to your fingertips? This is part of the reason why your neck pain can also come with symptoms in other parts of the body. Damage to the neck and shoulders may not manifest as pain first, but as other symptoms. Neck pain can appear to be a symptom of dozens of disorders, even if there is only one specific cause. Common symptoms and causes of neck pain should be treated to reduce your risk for permanent damage.
Neck Pain 101
When nerves in the body are damaged through injuries or chronic conditions, patients often feel the presence of pain. Nobody likes pain, and it’s even worse when it inhibits your ability to perform at your best. Have you ever had neck pain that has made it difficult for you to turn your head or be active? In a study conducted by the Medical College of Wisconsin, they found that about 10% of people experience neck pain consistently. This can be due to something they are doing in their daily life, but often, there is an underlying injury or chronic condition causing their symptoms.
Common reasons for neck pain include:
- Muscle or ligament strain due to overexertion and repetition
- Entrapped or pinched nerves in the neck and upper back
- Looseness or instability in the neck and shoulders
- Traumatic injury during sports, physical activity, a car accident or similar event
- Fractures to the arm or collarbone, either freshly broken or improperly healed
- Dislocated shoulders or dislocations close to the neck and back
If you don’t believe you have a neck injury but you have neck pain, it can also be due to a hereditary joint abnormality. Patients with various forms of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) can experience neck pain. Those that also have a history of tumors, degenerative disorders, infections and chronic conditions can also experience neck pain.
When Neck Pain Stems from Whiplash
One of the most common causes of neck pain is whiplash. This condition is no joke, and is an injury to the muscles of the neck and back. Often, people get rear-ended by another driver. When your car collides with another vehicle or fixed object, the forces in motion will go through your car. A sudden stop can cause your body to be jolted against the seat quite violently, even if you thought the accident was very minor. The tricky part about whiplash is that it generally takes time to set in.
You might have had a simple run-in with another car and felt somewhat of a jolt. However, your neck muscles might have been more affected than you know. The vertebrae in the neck can become misaligned easily or can crack. Damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and even the bones can happen without you realizing it. Whiplash can set in over night or can set in weeks or months down the road.
You will know you have whiplash if you start to have neck pain and stiffening in the shoulders and neck. Some patients have blurred vision, while others will have constant headaches, migraines, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, dizzy spells or even ringing in the ears. Falls, car accidents, diving into water, amusement park rides and similar activities can cause you intense neck pain. If you have done any of these things in the recent past, they are likely the cause of your neck pain.
The Importance of Seeking Treatment
Once you have neck pain, do you simply wait for it to go away, or do you get help? Many people wait to get help or try to “brush off” their negative health symptoms, when this can actually worsen neck pain or other symptoms. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is not right in the body. Not seeking help for your neck pain can lead to permanent damage in your muscles and nerves. However, many patients generally want treatment because they experience symptoms such as:
- Stiffness that makes it difficult to turn or move
- Loss of range-of-motion
- Burning sensations in the skin or muscles
- Tenderness to the touch
- Cramping and twitching of the neck
- Glandular pain on either side of the neck
- Cracking, popping or rustling noises when you moving the head and neck
Neck pain is not something that has to be constant. There are therapies proven to help patients relieve their neck pain. These therapies include:
- Chiropractic adjustments to the neck and spinal column
- Spinal decompression therapy
- Massage therapy from a professional
- Stretching exercises to loosen up tight muscles
- Relaxation and stress-relief techniques to relieve tension and pressure in the body
- Chronic pain management treatments such as cortisone injections
- Corrective care for the cervical spine to help restore the spine’s natural curve
Our patients who receive effective therapies are able to get rid of their neck pain quicker and better than people who don’t receive therapy.
Relieve Your Neck Pain Today
Don’t spend another day living with neck pain. Not only can you cause yourself permanent damage, but you limit all that you can accomplish. We see patients will neck pain all the time at our facility and we know we can help find the cause of your neck pain. With proper treatment, you can even make a full recovery from neck pain and neck injuries! If you have neck pain, call Mile High Spine & Pain Center today at (720) 507-0080!