Self-healing

Neck pain | Self-healing

In the case of neck pain it is useful to avoid  cold and keep your neck warm, even with the self-heating devices, readily available in pharmacies. Make cautious and slow movements of the cervical spine without forcing. Try to keep a good posture.  The use of anti-inflammatory creams made from natural products (eg. Arnica), applied with a light massage helps to overcome the most acute phases. Do not continue with self-care and consult a doctor if the pain persists for a long time or tends to worsen.



Prevention

Neck pain | Prevention

Prevention of neck pain is possible while maintaining correct posture of the entire spine at work and during the day, making regular physical exercises, maintaining specific and general physical activity, abolishing smoking and avoiding overweight. Physical stress is a worsening factor for muscle contracture, sometimes even decisive, especially of the neck area; you must therefore avoid unnecessary stressful overloads and perform relaxation exercises.



Diagnosis

Neck pain | Diagnosis

If the pain is prolonged, persistent or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as muscle weakness or altered sensitivity, it requires a medical diagnosis. The diagnosis includes  the clinical history, the objective assessment by inspection, palpation, examination of the range of motion, neurological examination, execution of specific tests.  Your doctor may then request an x-Ray, with standard  projections, or special x-Ray projections if vertebral instability or intervertebral foramina narrowing are suspected.



Causes

Neck pain | Causes

Neck pain in most cases is caused by disorders of the cervical spine, rarely by systemic or more serious diseases. The majority of neck pain has mechanical and mixed  origin, with a multifactorial pathogenesis, like  muscle sprain or strain, or muscle contracture due to:



Symptoms

Neck pain | Symptoms

 



Therapy

Neck pain | Therapy

Neck pain treatment differs in the acute phase and the chronic phase. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications can be hired for short period. A cervical collar can be useful only in case of trauma, or in very acute and severe situations. An exercise and mobilization program is indicated, in different ways depending on the clinical stage. Mind that is contraindicated to force painful movements and undertake intensive programs without a supervision of trained operators. Postural re-education is essential, since altered posture cause pain maintenance.



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