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Neck Pain

Neck Pain
Mechanical Neck Pain
Neck pain is a common problem that affects almost everyone at some point in their lives. The most common cause of neck pain is called ‘simple’ or ‘mechanical’ neck pain and is not caused by any serious problem. Factors that can contribute to mechanical neck pain include age (wear and tear on your neck), injury
( sprains and strains to muscles and ligaments to your neck), poor posture (leading to tension in your neck), and even stress.
Treatment for Mechanical Neck Pain
Simple stretching of the neck, anti-inflammatories and painkillers are typically all that is needed for simple neck pain. If your pain is moderate to severe, seeing a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath can help to treat your neck pain. Ensure that you are seeing a trained professional for advice and any physical manipulation. Heat or ice packs may help, as well as gentle massage to the area.
Whiplash
Whiplash injury is typically caused by a sudden deceleration that you are not prepared for, causing your body to be moved forward while your head is ‘whipped’ back. Your ligaments and the capsules surrounding part of your spine stretch, but you may not experience any pain until later. Your muscles will spasm to try to protect the area from further movement. This is common in car accidents or sports accidents. Usually, it is the next day before you will notice pain or stiffness.
Prevention
Prevent whiplash by ensuring that your headrests in your car are adjusted to the proper height and that you are wearing your seatbelt. These both help to reduce the amount that your neck whips. This will also help to prevent more serious neck injuries.
Whiplash Treatment
Minor whiplash injuries will self-resolve after days to weeks, and occasionally months. You should continue to try and stretch the neck to help your neck muscles from tightening and causing more pain. Nodding your head, turning and tilting from side to side, and pushing your chin forward and back are stretching exercises you can do Hold each pose for 5 seconds at a time before releasing.Taking pain medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can ease your pain and allow you to do these exercises more comfortably.

When to see a Medical Professional

Your neck is a very important structure of your body because it is the start of the spinal cord and injury to it can lead to severe consequences such as paralysis.

When in doubt, it is always best to get a professional’s opinion. Some reasons you definitely should go and see someone for neck pain include:
⦁ If the pain does not resolve or improve within a few days or starts to get worse.
⦁ Have numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms
⦁ The pain is sudden after an injury
⦁ Have a fever
⦁ Sudden neck stiffness and stiffness in both shoulders

Sources:
https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/daily-life/pain-and-arthritis/common-aches-and-pains/neck-pain/neck-pain-exercises.aspx
https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/common-aches-and-pains/neck-pain/specific-neck-conditions.aspx
https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/common-aches-and-pains/neck-pain/should-i-see-a-doctor.aspx