Many people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Pain usually arises from muscles tendons and ligaments commonly referred to as the soft tissues in and around the cervical spine. The cervical spine in your neck is formed from 7 bones known as the vertebrae which are separated discs. Both stabilize your neck and allow it to move smoothly.
Common types of neck pain:
Two typical types of neck pain include a herniated disc and cervical degenerative disc disease.
A herniated disc
A herniated disc which is also known as a slipped disc occurs when the disc bulges out which puts pressure on the spinal cord or irritates the nerves. It can happen as a result of an injury or trauma to the neck.
Cervical degenerative disc disease
As a person gets older these discs can become worn from wear and tear and as a result degenerate causing the disc space between the vertebrae to collapse and the nerve roots to become pinched.
The most common symptoms of cervical degenerative disc disease are pain and stiffness in your neck. When one of these conditions irritates the spinal cord nerves it can lead to uncomfortable pain and numbness which travels from your neck to your shoulder, arm, and hand. It is generally considered a low-level chronic pain but it can have intermittent spells where it flares up into more severe pain. These flare-ups can be caused by activity or stress on the spine or they can arise all of a sudden for no apparent reason. These pain spells can last for a few days or several weeks before returning back to the low-level chronic pain.
The chronic pain which can be referred to as the baseline low-level pain depends on the individual person and can range from very little pain or to severe and disabling pain.
Common treatment procedures
The main goals of treatment are to reduce the baseline pain and to help prevent the pain flare-ups that can occur. In most cases, these treatments can be managed by non-surgical treatment procedures such as:
• Pain management
• Physical therapy
The idea for pain management treatment is to reduce pain enough were mobility can increase in order to complete everyday activities.
Normally, a Dr. will recommend over the counter pain medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines for lower levels of chronic pain. For higher levels, stronger medicine will be prescribed.
There are a number of home treatments which can help to relieve pain. Applying an ice pack to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Heat treatments may also be beneficial in order to help relax the muscles and relieve tension.
Another solution which will also help you to get a better night’s sleep
An ergonomic pillow (see https://freeyourspine.info/best-cervical-pillows-for-neck-pain/) can be used to help reduce neck pain while getting a better night’s sleep.
It is recommended by many chiropractors to support your neck and ease pain and tension while sleeping. There are lots of pillow choices and selection will largely depend on the type of sleeper you are.