The main function of the neck is to hold up the weight of the head (which is about 5 kilograms) and allow the head to move sideways from left to right and likewise up and down. The neck also serves as a conduit for the spinal cord since it carries blood vessels to and from the head and contains passage ways for air and food.
Since the neck is a complex interlocking structure of joints, bones, nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments, it is vulnerable to injury and disorders that can cause us pain and discomfort. For most of us, neck pain is a temporary condition that is often tolerable and disappears with time but in some cases neck pains need medical diagnosis and treatment.
Most common causes of neck pain are injury or prolonged wear and tear of soft tissues. One common cause of neck pain which is very typical to people ages 40 and older is the degeneration of the cervical disc.
The cervical disc acts as a shock absorber between the bones in the neck and it contains a gelatin like tissue in the center. When this degenerates, the space between the vertebrae narrows this will cause pain in the neck.
The neck is so flexible and because it supports the head, it is exposed to injury. Vehicle accidents, contact sports and falls are some of the causes of neck injury. Severe neck injuries with dislocation or fracture of the neck can damage the spinal resulting to paralysis.
The following are symptoms of neck pains that should not be disregarded.
Headaches . It is usually a dull aching type of headache and not the sharp pain. Headaches are common in connection to neck problems. Very often, headaches are felt at the back of the head. But there are cases that the pain may radiate to the sides and even the front head.
Nerve Pain. Neck pain can branch down the arms and legs. It is a feeling of sensation of needles and pins or tingling in the arms which are often accompanied by burning, weakness or numbness. The pain becomes worse during the night.
Muscle ache. The muscles in the neck may have hard knots that are tender to touch. Usually the pain is felt up the middle of the neck or on one side only.
Stiffness. Neck muscles are tight that if you spend too much time in one position and tend to become even tighter. Pain and difficulty in neck movement is the result of stiff neck.
Muscle spasm. A sudden, powerful, involuntary contraction of muscles is the cause of spasm. You can feel pain, stiff and knotted. You may also not able to move your neck.
Unable to move in normal range. This is when you feel limited in how far you can lower your head to your chest or you can’t turn your head from left or right and can’t tilt your head back.
Giving proper care and treatment that concerns our neck is vital to avoid further problems. It is also vital to consult medical professionals that can prescribed needed medications and remedies. To get rid of neck pain you can ask assistance from Tricity Pain Associates.