Dealing With Neck Pain

Dealing With Neck Pain
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In this blog post, we are going to take a look at a couple of different types of neck pain…

Disc Bulge

A disc bulge can be very painful, and if you are experiencing this condition it is vital to get treatment as quickly as possible, as you will only let the pain get worse and functionality impaired further if you do not deal with the issue.

So, what actually is a disc bulge in the neck and how does it occur? The neck, which is known as the cervical spine, is comprised of many bones and in between every bone, there is a disc, with each disc being surrounded by a layer of connective tissue. Inside the disc, there is a soft substance, and this can change shape, and when it protrudes out of the disc you experience a disc bulge, which can be painful and have a detrimental impact on normal functionality.

There are several different causes of a disk injury like a bulge, including lifting, activities that involve using your arms in front of the body – such as driving, poor posture and bending the neck forwards, and there are even instances when a disc bulge occurs because of a trivial movement, such as sneezing.

How can you tell if you are suffering from a disc bulge in your neck? Most patients suffer from pain in the lower neck region, and this pain tends to be one-sided, and other symptoms include weakness, numbness, pins and needles, muscle spasms, headaches and pain radiating down the arm and into the shoulder pain region.

Postural Neck Pain

If you are experiencing postural neck pain, you have developed a bad posture habit, and it is likely that you probably don’t even realize what you are doing wrong. Most patients have adopted this position when they are sitting, usually when they are working at a desk for extended periods of time or when they are driving, yet postural conditions can arise from bad positions when lying or standing as well, and there are some cases when postural syndrome arises from sporting activities, such as bending forward in the likes of hockey and cycling.

The symptoms can vary for postural pain in the neck, yet most people experience either a burning sensation or a dull ache, and this can sometimes radiate to the shoulders and upper back, with other possible symptoms including limited movement and headaches.

There are many different techniques therapists will use when it comes to your treatment; it all depends on your condition and the severity of the pain you are experiencing. Approaches include the use of lumbar support, joint mobilization, postural bracing, electrotherapy, exercise to improve posture, flexibility exercises, strengthening exercises and soft tissue massage.  A key part of treatment is education on the posture you should be adapting to ensure that this issue never happens again. After all, if you fall into your old habits again, the pain is only going to recur at a later date, which you certainly don’t want.

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Cervical Facet Joint Pain

Each section of your spine has facet joints; there are lumbar facet joints in your lower back, thoracic facet joints in your mid back and cervical facet joints in your neck, which is, of course, what we are concerned with on this page. Your facet joints have the purpose of guiding and limiting movement of the spinal motion segment in which they are placed. If there is a change in joint motion, i.e. if the movement becomes excessive or stiffens, injury can occur.

The diagnosis stage is vital when it comes to cervical facet joint pain, an injury can be separated into two categories, hypermobility, and hypomobility. The former relates to injuries that arise because joint motion becomes loose and excessive, which can arise as a result of joint diseases, such as Rheumatoid arthritis, overstretched ligaments, dislocation, and fractures.  Hypomobility occurs when joint motion is stiff and limited, and this can happen due to a protective muscle spasm, joint capsule shortening, thickening or scarring, degenerative facet joint osteophytes, facet joint arthritis or a locked facet joint.

There are many different techniques and approaches that can be used when it comes to treatment, including muscle stretching, soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, and manual therapy. Your therapist will also provide you with a rehabilitation program to follow at home, which will include various exercises to follow, postural positions to adapt and some other tips to bear in mind, including the application of ice to reduce any muscle spasms.

 

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