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Neck Pain

Neck Pain

The neck supports the full weight of the head and is very susceptible to muscle strain and the misalignment of, or damage to, the vertebra in the spinal column. Almost everyone experiences neck pain at some time. Neck pain can have a number of causes, for example: simple muscle strain; injuries as a result of accidents or sports; repetitive or unusual movements; and degenerative conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis. If you experience neck pain that persists for more than a few days, it would be advisable to consult you health professional. Call to experience quick effective relief!

TEN (10) Common Causes of Neck Pain

Any injury to the neck should be taken seriously and brought to the attention of your medical doctor or health practitioner.

1. Injury and Accidents

Common occurrences that can result in neck injuries include car accidents, falls, sports mishaps and being hit on the head. Whiplash occurs when the neck is subjected to a sudden, intense force, such as results when a car is rear-ended or has a head-on collision. Neck injuries can also result from playing sports such as football, soccer, boxing, wrestling, and self-defense sports like karate and judo.

2. Degenerative Disc Disease

As we age, the discs between the vertebra lose hydration and the ability to provide adequate cushioning to the vertebra in the neck. The discs function as shock-absorbers between the vertebra. If they lose their flexibility and elasticity, they can get too close together and impinge on the nerves, causing neck pain. The discs can also be forced out of alignment with the vertebra, bulging out to the side and putting pressure on nerves. In extreme cases a disc can also become herniated, allowing the inner jelly-like substance to ooze out and affect nerves. Any of these conditions can cause neck pain, which can also spread into the shoulder and upper arm.

3. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease caused by thinning of the bones due to a deficiency of calcium in the diet. This can lead to degeneration of the vertebra, especially in the neck. The most visible result is the inability to stand up straight (think of little old ladies all bent and hunched). One common complication is neck pain. This is caused by the muscles in the neck being strained from trying to support the head which is no longer upright but leaning forward, or by nerves being pinched in the neck, again because the head is permanently tipped forward.

4. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that results in the progressive deterioration of cartilage. Without cartilage to provide cushioning, the bones start to rub together. The body reacts by causing bony spurs to form in the joints. These are called osteolytes and they can press on nerves. If this occurs in the neck it can lead to neck pain. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis there are things one can do to reduce the risk of it becoming a problem. Ensuring an adequate intake of the essential Omega-3 oils in the diet, from an early age, is a good place to start.

5. Stenosis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that results in the progressive deterioration of cartilage. Without cartilage to provide cushioning, the bones start to rub together. The body reacts by causing bony spurs to form in the joints. These are called osteolytes and they can press on nerves. If this occurs in the neck it can lead to neck pain. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis there are things one can do to reduce the risk of it becoming a problem. Ensuring an adequate intake of the essential Omega-3 oils in the diet, from an early age, is a good place to start.

6. Repetitive or Unusual Movements

Any sustained movement of the neck that is not normal, such as repeated side to side movements (watching tennis for instance), can cause neck pain. So will things like painting a ceiling or working with the arms overhead for long periods of time.

Stress

Prolonged stress can cause us to hunch our shoulders, resulting in tension developing in the muscles in the head, back and neck.

7. 8. Bad Posture

Our posture, whether at work, walking or driving, will influence the condition of the muscles in the neck. Walking or sitting with shoulders hunched up is certain to lead to neck pain.

9. Incorrect Sleeping Position

One of the most common causes of neck pain is a pillow that is too large or too flat.

10. Being Overweight

Being obese, and even just overweight, can lead to neck pain. As the body tries to support all the excess fat around the abdomen, a huge strain is put on muscles in the back and neck.

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