Treat that pain in the neck

With people becoming more sedentary these days, neck pain has become a constant complaint. Changes in lifestyle, bad postures are contributory factors.

Published: 21st May 2016 06:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2016 06:25 AM   |  A+A-

Are electronic devices the culprit?

Spending too much time with a mobile, laptop or any electronic equipment with the neck bend causes much strain on the neck muscles and leads to spasm (text neck syndrome). Trying to relieve the spasm causes excess strain on the spine. This repeated activity will accelerate spine degeneration. This is the same with people who spend a lot of time driving in a fixed position. Also sleeping on a soft sponge mattress, large pillow or sleeping in sitting or any other awkward posture( especially in a moving vehicle) can cause excess neck strain and pain. Moreover, neck muscles are not given the due exercise owing to the sedentary lifestyle, which inturn leads to strain on the spine. Earlier cervical spondylitis was a disease of the elderly but recently due to increase in neck strain , degenerative changes have begun affecting even teenagers.

Which kind of people are more prone to neck pain?

Professionals spending more time seated in front of a computer, long distance drivers, manual workers, construction workers and head loading workers, policemen and security officials carrying heavy equipments, weight lifters, dentists and surgeons are more prone to this strain.

What can be done

Human body is designed to maintain erect posture, so remember to always maintain proper posture. Sleep on your back on a firm mattress and use a small pillow or a cervical pillow. Never sleep in sitting position or any other compromised positions especially when travelling. Position the computer/laptop at eye level to avoid neck bending. Don’t forget to move your neck to both sides and up and down direction frequently in between computer work, driving or any other job. Practice neck exercises regularly to strengthen the muscles so that they can withstand more strain. Carry heavy weight (if required) evenly. Prevent jerky lifting of heavy weights. Avoid headloading as far as possible.

Home remedies

If in acute pain, proper rest and local appliable medications can be helpful in majority of cases. Oral medicines like simple analgesics and muscle relaxants may also be tried. Heat application, deep tissue massage, physiotherapy, ultrasound or electric stimulation can be helpful. If there is radicular or paraesthesia type symptoms in the arms and finger, certain drugs may be given specifically. Once the pain subsides proper exercises and yoga can be done which helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles. Persistent or recurrent pain should be evaluated properly before planning further treatment. Certain alternative medicine therapists have the habit of offering treatment without properly evaluating the exact cause of pain which have resulted in catastrophic consequences. Surgery can be helpful is certain subset of problems like disc prolapse or severe degeneration not subsiding with medicine and other treatment.


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