Chronic neck pain refers to pain and discomfort in the neck that persists for more than a month. Nowadays, more and more people bow their heads and work at desks for a long time, so the prevalence of neck diseases has continued to rise. What causes chronic neck pain? And how to relieve chronic neck pain?
Part 1. What causes chronic neck pain.
Neck pain can be caused by lesions in any tissue in the neck, from the meninges and cervical spine, to blood vessels, muscles, and lymphoid tissue. The symptoms can also arise from lesions elsewhere in the body, and their location, onset, and character can help determine the origin and cause. Neck pain is often caused by trauma or degeneration, congenital diseases, inflammatory, metabolic and neoplastic diseases.
- Bad sleeping position: Besides of some bad sleeping positions, your pillow is too high or too low, these will make your cervical spine in a non-physiological posture, resulting in the imbalance of paravertebral muscles, ligaments and joints for a long time, increasing the pressure on the intervertebral disc tissue.
- Improper working and living posture: long-term bowing at a desk for work or playing with a mobile device for a long time in life will cause strain on the muscles and ligaments of the neck.
- Excessive physical exercise: Excessive exercise in the neck can cause neck joint and ligament fatigue or increase the pressure on the cervical spine and cause neck strain.
- Degenerative changes of the cervical vertebra: With the increase of age and the long-term overload of the cervical vertebra, the repair ability is reduced, and the structural decay and functional decline of the cervical vertebra.
- Others: Infection of cervical spine, cervical spine tuberculosis, herpes zoster, brachial neuritis, cervical cancer metastasis, primary osteosarcoma, giant cell tumor of bone, schwannoma, chordoma, central lesion syringomyelia, skull disease, thoracic organ disease angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, other rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, neck trauma, cervical spine trauma and cervical spine fracture and dislocation may all be the causes of neck pain.
Part 2. How to relieve neck pain
The first thing you need to pay attention to is if your neck hurts badly, you need to see a doctor immediately. In addition, if your chronic cervical pain has seriously affected your daily life, or you have these symptoms such as severe headache, numbness, Problems with balance or coordination or weakness in both arms and/or legs, you need to get professional medical treatment immediately.
Otherwise, if your chronic neck pain is not severe, you can take the measures below to relieve your neck pain:
1. Change your sleep position
The correct sleeping position for cervical pain is generally sleeping on your back. When sleeping on your back, the cervical spine and the muscles on both sides of the cervical are in a relatively relaxed state.
2. Pick a cervical pillow
It’s recommended to choose a pillow with cervical traction, which helps to relax the muscle on your neck. And the height of the pillow should fit the curvature of the cervical spine as much as possible, so that the neck can have good support.
3. Correct bad posture and habits
Remember to maintain good posture while you sit, stand or lie down. Correct your bad habits when using your neck.
4. Take a break and relax
When you work or study for a certain time, remember to take a break for your body and neck. Don't keep your neck and body in one position for long periods of time, give them enough time to rest.
5. Take rehabilitation exercises
There are some simple exercises you can take to help strengthen the muscles on your neck and relieve your chronic neck pain:
- Scapula retraction exercise. With the arms behind you, the scapula presses towards the midline, feel the squeeze of the scapula, and exercise the rhomboid and trapezius muscles.
- Neck flexion and rotation stretch. Use the weight of the arm to bring the chin to the right side of the chest, and repeat the exercise on the opposite side to exercise the scapulae, trapezius, etc.
- Scalene stretch. Drop your left shoulder, tilt your head to the right, feel the stretch in your muscles, repeat the stretch on the opposite side, and exercise your scalene muscles.
- Neck stretch. Tilt your head back and point your chin toward the ceiling as much as possible, keep your neck, shoulders, and torso straight, and exercise multiple muscles such as the trapezius and splenius capitis.
The bottom line
This article introduces the causes of chronic neck pain and how to relieve chronic cervical pain to you. Mild pain can be cured with simple correction and exercise, but of course, if your pain is so severe that it affects your life, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.