The neck is one of the most basic structures in the body. It’s also often neglected, which can lead to all sorts of health problems. Neck pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture or injury. Although neck pain is often harmless and temporary, it should not be ignored because there are some telltale signs that mean you need to get to the doctor.
What You Need to Know Before Going to a Doctor
If you are experiencing neck pain, it is important to know the facts before going to a doctor. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
1. Neck discomfort can be caused by a number of factors, including poor posture or trauma.
2. Neck pain is typically benign and fleeting, but it should not be neglected because there are certain symptoms that suggest you need to visit your doctor.
3. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan from your doctor.
5. By maintaining good posture and using ergonomic devices at work or home, you can help prevent neck pain in the future.
7 Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Relieve Neck Pain
When you are experiencing neck pain, it is important not to jump to conclusions before seeing your doctor. Here are some things that people commonly do that can actually aggravate their symptoms:
1. Putting a heating pad on the neck without any kind of support or cushioning can make it worse.
2. Trying to fix your pain by going for a walk or doing some stretches at home without talking to a professional is not recommended.
3. Ignoring signs that you should go seek medical attention, such as loss of bladder control, numbness or tingling, and more.
4. Staying in bed all day without taking any kind of break from your computer screens or phone screens, could make your pain worse.
5. Ignoring the fact that you are sitting in a chair with poor posture can make your neck pain worse, too.
How Do I Know the Type of Therapy That’s Best for Me?
When it comes to treating neck discomfort, there are many types of therapies that you can pursue. Here are the basics you need to know about various types of therapies available:
1. Massage therapy focuses on the muscles surrounding the spine and neck, helping to increase flexibility and reduce tension.
2. Chiropractic care is a type of alternative therapy that helps relieve pain by manipulating the joints in your spine, neck, and back.
3. Physical therapy improves mobility in the joints to help relieve pain.
4. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that helps relieve pain by stimulating pressure points on your body with thin needles.
The Importance of Getting an Accurate Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
Trying to treat your neck pain without getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan from your doctor is not recommended. Here are some reasons why:
1. Neck pain can be caused by a variety of things, such as injury, poor posture, or trauma.
2. Without an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, you might be missing out on the most effective therapy for your discomfort.
3. If you do not know what type of pain you’re experiencing, it’s hard to avoid the things that trigger it or fix it.
4. Without an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, you might be misdiagnosed as having a more serious condition than neck pain, such as a tumor or cancer.
5. With an inaccurate diagnosis, you might end up pursuing the wrong type of therapy. For example, if you are actually suffering from a spinal disc injury and do not get physical therapy, your pain could become chronic.
Tips on How to Avoid Neck Pain in the Future
There are a few things you can do to help prevent neck pain in the future. Here are some tips:
1. Maintaining good posture is key. When you’re sitting or standing, make sure your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed.
2. Use ergonomic devices at work and at home to help support your neck and spine. For example, a good office chair will have lumbar support to keep your back in alignment, and a pillow that supports your head and neck when you’re sleeping.
3. Take breaks from your computer screens and phone screens often, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. This will help reduce the amount of strain on your neck muscles.
4. Get regular checkups from your doctor to make sure you’re not developing a more serious condition.
5. See a chiropractor if your discomfort is particularly bothersome and doesn’t go away with the above tips or with home remedies, such as applying heat or taking ibuprofen for pain relief.
If your neck pain doesn’t go away, make an appointment with a healthcare provider. The earlier you seek professional help for the discomfort, the better. Remember that it is always best to avoid pain medication without talking to a professional first, as it can affect other medical conditions and other medications you might take. To avoid further discomfort, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions about treatment and therapy carefully.
Doctor Osvaldo Pepa, Neurosurgery Service Physician at Hospital San Martin, La Plata, Argentina. I graduated last November 16, 1984 with a Medical Degree at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata. The Medical Board of La Plata, District 1, licensed me as a Neurosurgeon in 1990. I hold a Provincial and National License and an active member of the Neurosurgery Society of La Plata, World Ozone Therapy Federation, and Inter American Society of Minimally Invasive Surgery.