Neck pain is a common problem caused by the straining of muscles. As far as your neck comprises of vertebrae extending to the upper torso from the skull with cervical discs for absorbing shock between the bones, any abnormalities, injury and inflammation to the muscles can result in neck pain. In most cases, fortunately, neck pain is not a serious condition and may disappear in a few days.
Causes of Neck Pain
Strain or tension in the muscles occurs from poor sitting and standing posture. Always ensure that your shoulders are in line with the hips and the ears are directly above the shoulders. When working at a desk for a long time, take breaks for a short walk, stretch and change the sitting position. The screen of your computer should be at eye level to stop bending or lifting the neck for long periods. Align your head neck and body when you sleep and use a small pillow to support the neck.
The neck is a vulnerable organ and can be injured from falling, car accidents and in various sports. Injury to the neck happens when the muscles are made to move beyond their normal capacity. Damage to the neck bones can cause severe effects on the backbone. Sudden jerking of the need also causes neck injury commonly known as whiplash.
Meningitis and heart attack
Meningitis is a condition caused by inflammation of tissues around the spinal cord and brain. Patients suffering from meningitis is prone to neck pain, fever and headaches. Pain in the neck is sometimes a sign of heart attack when it is accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, shortness of breath, vomiting, arm/jaw pain and sweating.
Other causes of neck pain include tucking your phone between the shoulder and ear while walking, smoking and carrying heavy bags over the shoulder.
How to Reduce and Get Rid of Neck Pain
The following neck exercises may help you reduce pain and can be a permanent solution to the problem when done habitually.
The neck release targets the neck sides. With the legs crossed, sit on the floor and extend your left arm to the right side of the head and gently tilt your head to the left applying pressure with the hand to stretch the neck. Maintain the posture for about thirty seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
Clasping Neck stretch
This exercise stretches your neck and upper back. Sitting comfortably on the floor, clasp both hands with the palms and place them at the back of the neck. Gently press down your hands towards your thighs while tucking the chin into your torso. Hold for approximately thirty seconds before lifting your head and realizing the hands.
The heart opener exercise relaxes the shoulders, chest and the neck front. Sit on your heels and lean back flattening your palms behind you on the floor pointing the fingertips away. Arch your back by lifting the chest as high you can. Lower your head behind to escalate the stretch on the throat and hold for thirty seconds.
The bridge yoga pose stretches the back of your neck. Lie on your back and put the arms at your sides with the palms touching the ground. Then bend your knees to have the feet on the floor. Lift your hips high with the hands and feet firmly on the floor, allowing for shoulders and neck to support the rest of the body. Hold for thirty seconds then lower your butt to the ground and hug your knees with the chest for an extra stretch.
Enhanced blood circulation
Aiding blood circulation can help to release muscles tension and neck pain. Take a hot shower and let the hot water run down your neck for approximately five minutes. You can also soak in a salty bath since salt helps to relieve muscles tension and stress and prompts blood circulation. Consider applying a heating pad directly on your neck to stimulate the flow of blood.
Neck pain should stop if you practice the right posture and do the exercises mentioned above. However, persistent neck pain for more than a week may be a symptom for more severe illness and should be examined by a doctor.