How to Deal With Chronic Neck Pain

Neck Pain

After having neck pain, most people will have another one sometime later, a few months or years later.

Recurrent to chronic neck pain happens when episodes of neck pain happen and never go quickly or entirely. Neck pain can be caused by mechanical pain, where automated means no specific medical condition or disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

One-third of people suffering from neck pain might have other symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, visual signs, and some unsteadiness and balance.

Symptoms are different from one person to another. The location of the pain is between the base of the skull and the shoulder region, mainly the upper part. However, in some cases, it may be associated with headaches, known as cervicogenic headaches.

What causes recurrent or chronic neck pain?

One of the most common causes for such pain is the buildup of repeated strains, minor ones caused by poor posture or prolonged sitting postures, often associated with wrong sitting postures and poor ergonomics. Bad posture might be worsened by other habits people tend to do. Bad habits include using their phones for an extended period while texting or playing on the phone with head down positions which puts a lot of tension on the neck muscles.

The most common people prone to this are those whose occupation involves sitting for prolonged periods while placing so much strain on their muscles, such as office workers and drivers. However other conditions might be present and are mutual such as disc herniations, degenerations, and osteoarthritis.

How do I know if I have recurrent or chronic neck pain?

Such pain is characterized mainly by repeated periods of pain that come and go over weeks, months, and years.

The intensity of such pain might fluctuate. Most of the time, it can be continuous with the feeling of general soreness and stiffness in the neck and surrounding muscles.

Diagnosis is made based on the patient’s history, including symptoms, age, history, physical activity, assessment, and not on x-rays or MRI. Often, images can be used to rule out any other conditions such as fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, and nerve compression.

The treatment will depend on the outcome of the assessment we did. We usually use a variety of treatment methods in a management program to provide best practice management.

Interventions for neck pain

Education, advice, and assurance

Education focuses most on being aware of the poor, faulty posture or wrong positions and how to manage this. Moreover, it includes teaching the patient about his case to be involved in dealing with it.

Manual therapy

Manual therapy includes manual skills that aim to ease and relieve symptoms and enhance posture if needed through exercises.

Exercised are designed to

  • enhance posture and correct postural habits, especially during work
  • increase neck flexibility
  • Enhance muscle performance
  • Strengthening the associated area
  • Train balance, neck movement accuracy, and head and eye movement control.

Other interventions used in combination with these are dry needling, deep tissue massage, ultrasound, electrotherapy, and the use of heat.

Self-management program

Self-management includes taking care of your neck while doing the home program exercise relevant to you and improving your habits and lifestyle if needed through daily routines.

What can I do at home?

  • Effective self-management with the help of your therapist.
  • prevent slouched posture that could worsen your case
  • Don’t take any medications without consulting your Doctor
  • Move regularly.
  • Learn the correct posture of sitting and sleeping.
  • Perform daily head movements in each direction to keep your neck mobile.

How long until I feel better?

Recovery is variable depending on the severity of the case and the presence of other medical conditions. The recovery period is usually discussed individually with each patient to be accurate.

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