Your Guide to Neck Pain
Neck pain can be very debilitating and it's important to know that it will get better. In this guide I will give you a better understanding of why your neck hurts and what you can do about it. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.
5 common causes for Neck Pain
The first step is to find out what type of neck pain you are suffering from so that you can take appropriate action.
Here are some of the most common causes for neck pain:
- Muscle or ligament strain
- Facett Joint Dysfunction
- Herniated Disc
- Trapped Nerve
Muscle, ligament strain
Pain coming from muscle and ligament strain can be very strong and is often eased of by small amounts of movement but irritated by longer periods of movement. A normal daily pattern is that is is very sore in the morning when you wake up, then it eases of when you start to get the circulation going but again gets worse in the afternoon. This can be accompanied by muscle spasm and cramping and the onset can be sharp, macro trauma, for example if you lift something. Or it can have a slower progression, with pain increasing over time, aggravated by for example an activity like walking, standing or sitting in front of a computer for long period of times. Normal recovery time is 4 - 12 weeks but most often recovery time can be much faster with Shockwave-therapy and Osteopathic treatment.
Facett Joint Dysfunction
Pain caused by irritation of the facet joints is different then muscular pain in that immediately gets agitated by movement. As soon as you start moving the joint it hurts. It does not radiate pain down the arms in the way that you would expect if a neve was involved. The pain is sharp and mainly local. I left untreated it can start effect the surrounding nerve endings also and pain can start radiating down the shoulder and arms.
When a disc ruptures and starts to press on the surrounding nerves most often you get sharp pain shooting down either one or both arms. The pain differs from muscular pain in that it is usually more specific and also projects pain all the way down to the fingers. Muscular pain projection is most often less specific and more located around a central point. Since the pain is coming from the nerve being compressed there is less alteration in the pain pattern. And the daily pattern is pretty constant in terms of pain levels. Recovery time can be up from 12 weeks up to a year and can sometimes require surgery.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
TOS is a common cause of nerve pain that is caused by by tight muscles in the shoulder and neck that cause compression of the nerves of the arm. Sometimes debilitating pain and even loss of strength and coordination. This can be treated with Massage, Osteopathic Manual Treatment, Shockwave Therapy and a personalized exercise program
Arthritis is caused by wear and tear of the joints of the neck and can cause agitating pain and irritation in the area. While there is not much to do about the damaged joint cartilage there is a lot you can do to alleviate the pain. In my own clinical experience as long as the arthritis or joint damage is not very severe causing major changes in range of motion you have a good chance of relieving much of the pain through treating the muscles and joints around the affected joint. Most often all of the pain are not coming from the damaged cartilage but also from the surrounding muscles and ligaments.
Neck Pain can be very debilitating but usually resolves within 2 - 6 weeks with the help of Osteopathic treatment, Shockwave-Therapy and rehab exercises.