Most people suffer from neck and back pain at some point. Neck pain is a common problem, and your neck can hurt for several reasons. The neck’s muscles and ligaments support your head (which weighs about 11 pounds) all day and allow for its motion. This is a delicate balance, and any abnormalities such as injury, bad posture, and sleeping wrong can cause neck pain or stiffness.
Back pain can interfere with your normal functioning by restricting your mobility and affecting the quality of your life. Back and neck pain ranges from a mild ache to persistent severe pain and can be either continuous or intermittent. This pain in your neck or back area can be either acute or chronic. Acute back or neck pain comes suddenly and intensely and does not last long. Chronic pain, in contrast, can last for weeks, months, or even years.
Back or neck pain is often not a serious condition or indicator of a more serious health problem. It is usually acute pain that subsides in a couple of days or a week with the help of over-the-counter pain killers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin.
However, if you have severe neck or back pain that persists after one week or is accompanied by other symptoms like numbness and pain in your arms and legs, you should immediately seek medical attention.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Muscle Tension and Strain
Straining of your neck muscles is one of the most common causes of neck pain. This can be from things like:
- Poor posture
- Bad sleep habits
- Carrying a heavy shoulder bag or pulse
- Prolonged working at a desk without changing position
Common injuries to the neck include falls and whiplash ―which is the sudden jerking of the head, especially during exercise or car accidents.
Neck Pain Symptoms
When your neck hurts, you may experience other symptoms such as:
- Difficulty in moving your neck or head
- Muscle stiffness or spasms
What Causes Back Pain?
It is not clear what exactly the causes of back pain, but the following are conditions commonly associated with back pain.
- Muscle or ligament strain
This can be caused by strenuous activity such as heavy or repetitive lifting. A poor physical condition is a high-risk factor, and constant strain on your back can cause frequent back pain.
- Herniated or ruptured disks
- Arthritis (Spinal stenosis)
Back Pain Symptoms
Back pain can be felt as muscle aching, a shooting burning sensation, or sharp pain in your back. The pain can be felt in a single spot or a large area in your back.
Other symptoms include:
- Stiffness anywhere along your spine
- Aching in the lower part of your back that worsens by lifting, bending, or prolonged standing or sitting.
- Leg numbness
Managing Back and Neck Pain
Since most back or neck pain is caused by muscle strain, restricting your activity for a few days is the best way to recover. Other ways include:
- Icing your neck or back for the first 48 hours and then heat with a heating pad.
- A gentle massage to stretch tight muscles
- Maintaining a good posture.
Call your doctor if the neck or back pain doesn’t get better and symptoms persist for more than a week.
Do not let pain ruin your lifestyle. Managing neck or back pain can tremendously improve your quality of life. Put a smile back on your face today and contact Precision Spine Care for the best pain management and treatment.
The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.