The Symptoms of Neck Pain and How to Relieve Them

Kate Keenan blog

Neck pain is a common problem that can involve any of the tissues in the neck. Neck injuries, such as whiplash, a pinched nerve, or a herniated disk or specific disorders and diseases are common causes of pain in the neck. Persistent neck pain can negatively impact someone’s quality of life and should be addressed promptly.

Neck Pain

Symptoms

The most common and recognizable symptoms of Neck pain are:

  • Soreness and tenderness in a targeted area
  • Sharp pain in one spot
  • A stiff neck
  • Pain that’s worsened by the head being held in one place for long periods
  • Decreased ability to move the head
  • Headaches

In some cases, neck pain can cause more severe symptoms that interfere with everyday life, such as:

  • Pain, tingling, or numbness that radiates down to the shoulders, arms, and fingers
  • Problems with balance and coordination, or walking
  • Issues with gripping and lifting objects
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control

If the symptoms are minor, neck pain can be managed at home using over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium. Inflammation can be reduced by applying an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel on the affected area several times a day. Light exercises, including stretches and neck rolls, can also help alleviate the pain.

When to see a doctor

If pain does not improve with home treatment, it might be time to see a doctor. Do not hesitate to seek professional neck pain relief treatment in severe situations. When pain persists for several days and is accompanied by headaches, numbness, and tingling, or if it spreads down the arms and legs, it’s time to seek medical attention. If the neck pain results from serious injuries, such as a driving accident or a fall, seek immediate professional care.

After the doctor establishes the cause of the pain and localizes the problem, they can prescribe adequate treatment. Common non-surgical neck pain relief treatment includes:

  • Physical therapy

Physical therapists use heat, ice, electrical stimulation and other methods to ease the pain. Treatment also focuses on improving posture and include neck-strengthening exercises.

  • Short-term immobilization

In some cases, a doctor might suggest using a collar that provides the neck with extra support. However, the collar should not be used for more than three hours at a time, or for more than one to two weeks.

  • Traction

Traction refers to a form of therapy that uses specialized weights to stretch the neck gently, which provides pain relief.

  • Chiropractic care

While there is a range of treatments available, the most effective and complete type of therapy is chiropractic care, which treats the underlying causes and as well as the symptoms. To relieve neck pain, the chiropractor will first focus on spinal adjustment. The neck and back must be properly aligned before focusing on other problems in the area. Neck pain also causes the muscles to work harder, making the problem worse. That’s why the chiropractor will work with any tight upper back, neck, and head muscles through massage, stretching, and other exercises. Chiropractic care does not only provide temporary pain relief but works to alleviate the problem and Leading a healthy lifestyle will help prevent the problems from reoccurring. Moderate aerobic activity offers incredible benefits for the neckhe symptoms for the long term.

Chiropractor Massaging a Woman

Leading a healthy lifestyle will help prevent the problems from reoccurring. Moderate aerobic activity offers incredible benefits for the neck, alleviating any discomfort and pain in the area.

Kate's interest in the medical field began with her mother, who worked as a Special Care Nursery nurse for 50 years. Kate began working in the medical field with a mobile X-ray company, where she continued to foster her interest and learn critical information about a variety of diseases and conditions, along with the processes of diagnosing and treating them. Kate has been writing professionally for 12 years, and she is working on her Masters in English. She loves dogs, good food, and the beach.