There are many reasons you neck may hurt and the treatment of neck pain is never the same for everyone. Knowing some of the common cause can help you better treat your neck pain!
- Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD) – As you get older you will inevitably get degenerative disk disease. Thank gravity for this one. Your spine experiences constant compression over your life and the discs between your neck bones act as shock absorbers. These discs begin to wear out over time and become more compressed and less pliable. This can result in stiffness in the neck and increasing the stress on muscles and ligaments that attach in the neck. Worst case scenarios, are when the disc degenerates to a point that it allows the nerves in that area to become “pinched”. Typically ice and heat can help, but if it doesn’t chiropractic and physical therapy can be very helpful. In severe cases, steriod injections or surgery might be necessary.
- Neck Strain Injury – The neck is one of the most mobile areas of our body. It allows for the head to rotate, flex, extend, and side to side motion. This ability also creates a greater ability for an individual to experience a neck strain injury. A strain is related to the muscles and ligaments that attach in the neck. A strain occurs when this muscle or ligament become extended with load over a long period of time. We also call this a static posture. My neck is holding a static posture while I type. If I didn’t take an ocassional break to stretch and move my neck. I could experience a neck injury if hadn’t just paused and moved my head around into a new position. Make sure to change your neck posture about every 30 minutes when you are in a more strained neck posture.
- Herniated disk – Your disk is firmer on the outside and jelly filled in the middle. If the outer layer ruptures and can let the jelly filled interior to push out and apply pressure on a nerve and cause neck pain. Physical therapy and chiropractic care can help treat the area and allow for the herniation to heal. In some instances the herniation might not heal and a surgical procedure may be necessary.
- Tension Headaches – This can be a result of neck pain. If your muscles in your neck get tight do to static posture or stress it can result in increased pressure in the suboccipital muscles at the base of your skull. This is most common among people that sit in front of a computer all day. An Ergonomist can help with setting up your work station to improve your posture and decrease the tension in your neck. Physical therapy and stretches are also a good option to help relieve your neck tension.
These are some of the most common causes of your neck pain. Proper posture and changing your posture often can have a significant impact on reducing your potential for neck pain.