Many people with neck pain associate it with a wrong sleeping position. However, neck pain does not always occur due to an improper sleeping position, but sometimes the pain can be caused by overstretching. Some occupations like painting roofs can stretch your neck giving you pain, and therefore neck pain is common among the type of Wilmington work injuries that require medical management.
Since the neck houses many nerves that supply the upper limbs and trunk, neck pain can extend to other areas like the arm or shoulder. When you visit a doctor with a complaint of neck pain, the doctor will take your medical history and do a physical examination. The doctor may then order some imaging tests like an x-ray to determine what the exact cause of the neck pain is. Treatment of neck pain depends on what is causing the pain.
How Can You Prevent Neck Pain?
To prevent neck pain, you should use a pillow that is at the right height. Please do not sleep on a pillow that is too high or too low because it can strain your neck. Sleeping on a firm mattress is recommended to ensure that your head remains in a horizontal position and is not strained. When sleeping, avoid sleeping on your abdomen because this will make you bend your neck, therefore straining it.
The recommended sleeping position is on the side because this position improves blood circulation in your body. Getting adequate sleep will also help you to avoid neck pain. It is reported that high-stress levels and anxiety can cause your neck to become tense, and therefore you should do stress management.
Whenever you have mild neck pain, you can do exercise to trigger the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins will give you a “feel good” feeling. Meditation also helps to relax your body and reduce stress levels. You can also use warm and cold compresses and massage to assist in the management of neck pain.
What Causes Neck Pain?
The most frequent cause of pain in the neck is sleeping with the neck in the wrong position. Neck pain is caused by trauma to the neck like those experienced in road accidents. The pain in the neck can also be caused by infections like meningitis, which causes a stiff neck. Stress and anxiety can cause neck pain because it causes the muscles in the neck to become tense. The pain in the neck may also be referred from another body part, like the heart during a heart attack.
Whiplash injury that occurs during rear-end car accidents is a common cause of neck pain, and it can be life-threatening at times. Fractures of the cervical vertebra can also cause neck pain. You can also develop neck pain if you suffer from an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis. Old age, sitting in a bad posture that strains your neck, and falling from heights are other causes of neck pain.
You should see a doctor when you have severe neck pain that does not resolve with the use of painkillers, when the pain is associated with numbness in the upper limbs, and when the pain is occurring due to trauma to the neck.
Neck pain is a prevalent symptom that can be harmless sometimes. Neck pain may also be a sign of a severe underlying condition that requires a doctor’s intervention. You should see a doctor if the pain in your neck is so severe or if the pain has been caused by trauma to the neck. Sleeping on a firm mattress and a comfortable pillow and maintaining a good neck posture are ways to prevent neck pain.