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What is Neck Pain?

Neck Pain Definition: The instance of discomfort, tension, or general pain in the neck areas. This pain is often a result of poor posture and muscle tension but can sometimes be caused by a more serious condition. 

Your neck contains the upper part of the spinal column and vertebrae. This part of the spine is called the cervical spine. This part of the spine is made from bones, ligaments, and muscles that support your head and allow for motion. Abnormalities, inflammation, or injury can cause pain or stiffness.

most common causes of neck pain

The Most Common Causes of Neck Pain

The most common cause of neck pain is a muscle strain, in which a muscle is stretched too far. Neck muscle strain is caused by poor posture and abnormal or awkward sleeping position. When the neck is misaligned from the spine (too forward or too far back), the muscle becomes strained from carrying the weight of the head.

Common Causes

See all the potential causes below:

  • Muscle strain
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Injury
  • Whiplash
  • Herniated/slipped disc
  • Pinched nerve
  • Infection

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Common Symptoms

Neck pain is generally easy to detect. The neck has a number of small muscles that run down the sides and back of the neck to meet the shoulders and upper back. This pain can be felt in these muscles, in the lymph nodes, in the shoulder, and even in the head and face. The following are common symptoms:

  • Dull aching pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Sharp or shooting pain
  • A numbness that extends down the arms
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Tension headaches

At Home Treatments for Neck Pain

The following tips and habits can be applied to your daily life to decrease neck pain. If you want to learn more about each technique read the article 7 Tips to Ease Chronic Neck Pain.

  1. Use ice therapy.
  2. Properly align your spine while sitting.
  3. Take more magnesium.
  4. Use a memory foam pillow.
  5. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
  6. Try neck traction therapy.
  7. Use a hands-free device with your phone.

Questions About Neck Traction

Neck traction (cervical traction) is a drug-free, non-invasive form of pain relief used to treat herniated or bulging discs, muscle strains, and muscle spasms. A neck traction devices can decompress the spine cervical spine. The device stretches the spine which therefore allows space to form between the discs.

How Does Neck Traction Help with Herniated Discs?

Herniated discs cause pain when the softer tissue is forced out of the harder exterior due to the compression of the discs. Neck traction allows space to form between these discs, which takes off the painful pressure.

How Does Neck Traction Help with Muscle strains?

Neck traction provides gentle compression and supports strained neck muscles. Using a neck traction device can stabilize the neck muscles and help them heal. It's important to rest the neck muscle after they have been strained and allow them to recover.

How Does Neck Traction Help with Muscle Spasms?

Similar to muscle strains, spasms can be caused by tense muscles. Neck traction can stabilize the neck and offer support that can help reduce pain and discomfort.

TENS Therapy for and Drug-Free Pain Relief

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) Therapy is a drug-free, non-invasive form of pain relief that uses electrical stimulation to block pain signals and massage tense muscles. This form of pain-relief can significantly reduce pain in as little as 20 minutes.

Learn more about Neck Pain with the following resources:

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