Neck pain can interfere with every aspect of your life. It makes it hard to drive, work, interact, and sleep. The cause of your pain can vary from muscle strain to injuries to other health conditions. Understanding the cause of your neck pain helps you find the right treatment to relieve it. Perhaps you need to replace your mattress, or maybe you need to change the way you deadlift at the gym. For some, regular massage therapy sessions can keep neck pain at bay. When you’re ready to relieve the pain, visit a specialist on neck pain in Brampton.
First, learn more about the different causes of neck pain and how to treat them.
- Muscle Strain & Tension
Did you know that the average head weighs 10-11 pounds? Your neck is responsible for holding that weight up and allowing it to move. The muscles in your neck are always working from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed. In your sleep, the position of your neck and head can affect how it feels the next day.
It’s no surprise that different aches and pains can arise in your neck muscles. The type of pain you’re experiencing could feel like:
- Dull soreness
- Sharp, radiating pain
- Stiffness with limited mobility
Tension is a common type of neck pain that doesn’t necessarily hurt but feels uncomfortable. You might notice that massaging your neck helps relieve the stress temporarily. However, if you continue doing the action causing the tension, it’ll come back.
So what causes neck muscle strain and tension? An endless list of things. For one, working at a computer comes with body pain hazards. Most office workers, freelancers, and students find that neck pain is a part of the job. You stare down at your laptop screen for hours from a chair that looks stylish but isn’t the right height. What you need is an ergonomic setup. This means the screen of your laptop or computer is at eye-level when you’re sitting straight. Your elbows should bend at 90 degrees when you’re typing. With your feet flat on the ground, your knees should be bent at 90 degrees in your chair. These position alignments can take the pressure off of your neck muscles and reduce in less pain.
Another common cause of muscle strain is improper sleeping conditions. Pillows that are too flat or too thick can put your neck in an unnatural position while you sleep. As you wake up and leave that position, you’ll notice the effects. Sometimes older mattresses and pillows can cause neck pain from not providing the support you need anymore. In this case, speak with your chiropractor about which bedding is best for supporting your back and neck.
- Injury & Pinched Nerves
Neck pain is sometimes caused by pinched nerves and injuries to the neck. The spine is made up of 24 vertebrae that surround the spinal cord and provide a base for nerve roots. The nerves branch out from the spinal cord and send messages to the brain about what they feel in the muscles. In your neck, these nerves are extra vulnerable to getting pinched. In some cases, they get pinched when the vertebrae start to degenerate, often due to old age. As the disks in your spine age, they lose density. They can get smaller and lose height, thus triggering the body to produce bone spurs to strengthen the spine. These spurs crowd the space the nerve roots grow from which pinches them in the process.
In younger people, pinched nerves are often caused by an injury. If you bend, twist, or lift your neck in an unnatural position, you could irritate and injure the muscles. When your muscles get strained or injured, they tend to swell. The swelling crowds the nerves and applies pressure to them. Luckily, tending to the injured muscle will alleviate the pain from the pinched nerve. The same can happen if you hold your neck in the same position for too long. If you fall asleep with your neck dramatically leaning on one shoulder, you’ll feel sore when you wake up. This is because you were compressing the nerves on that side of your neck for eight hours straight.
Car accidents are known to result in pinched nerves in the neck due to whiplash. When the vehicle abruptly stops, your loose limbs are still going at the speed of the car. This causes your neck to swing forward and violently jolt back against the headrest. This can sometimes be fatal; in most cases, it causes swelling in the neck and pinched nerves.
Another type of injury that causes pinched nerves in the neck is herniated discs. The spine’s vertebrae are separated by discs. When you walk, run, stand up, and turn, the discs absorb the shock to your spine. Unfortunately, these discs can slip out of place when injured or when the spine is weak. As the disc slips, it presses against the nerve branches, thus causing immense pain. Being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle increases your chances of experiencing a herniated disc.
When your neck pain is from a pinched nerve or injury, see your doctor. They can assess the severity of the damage and recommend the appropriate treatment. Then, consider working with a physiotherapist to heal the injury. Depending on the injury, you may need ongoing chiropractic sessions, orthotics, or massage therapy. Our clinic offers pain relief specific to car accident injuries, including whiplash.
- Related Health Conditions
The third factor that could be causing your neck pain is a related health condition. Some diseases, infections, and conditions affect your neck bones, muscles, and nerves. For example, meningitis is an infection or virus in the tissue surrounding the brain. It causes fever, headaches, and muscle stiffness around the head and neck. This is a serious condition; if you notice the symptoms of meningitis, see a doctor right away.
Another health condition that can cause neck pain is rheumatoid arthritis. This autoimmune disease is marked by the inflammation of the joints. When it occurs in the neck area, it causes pain and swelling. It can also cause stiffness and limit your mobility. To address the neck pain, it’s best to see a physiotherapist that specializes in chronic neck and back pain. They can develop a treatment plan to minimize the pain you feel as well as the other symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is another health condition that commonly causes neck pain. There isn’t a known cause, but it’s marked by pain and tenderness in the muscles and bones. The neck and shoulders are typical concerns for those with fibromyalgia pain. Although there isn’t a cure yet, there are ways to mediate the pain. Working with a skilled physiotherapist, massage therapist, and chiropractor can help.
If you’re suffering from neck pain in Toronto, visit Toronto Ortho Neuro Physiocare. Our certified and experienced therapists can assess your neck pain and help curate a unique treatment plan. Our services range from acupuncture to chiropractic to massage therapy. To book an appointment or inquire about our neck pain relief services, send us a message or call our clinic today: (416) 533-3900.