When you consider the many different functions that are part of the human neck, it’s surprising that neck pain doesn’t receive more attention. This area of the body contains a complex system of bones, nerves, muscles, and joints. It, along with the rest of your spine, is the conduit for your central nervous system. At Apex Medical Center, David Ezeanolue, M.D., C.I.M.E., Alafuro T. Oruene, M.D., Blanche Y. Bonnick, M.D., and the other members of the team help Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, residents find lasting relief from neck pain.
In most cases, minor sprains or strains are the source of pain and heal on their own over the course of a few days. These minor injuries can come from sleeping in an unusual or awkward position, ongoing poor posture, or a minor sports injury.
More severe neck issues can create significant pain and should be treated by a doctor. Some common sources of moderate to severe neck pain include:
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when your head and neck are suddenly forced to move backward before immediately being forced forward. Whiplash most commonly occurs during car accidents when a vehicle strikes from the rear.
Whiplash places an enormous strain on the structure of your neck, and the sudden nature of the injury means you may have no opportunity to brace or take measures to stabilize your neck and head. Some people experience only minor tenderness and stiffness after a whiplash injury while others have severe pain and reduced range of motion.
If you experience an injury that leaves you with a literal pain in the neck, it’s important to seek medical care if your symptoms don’t subside within a few days. There are multiple treatment options you can use to ease pain and restore proper function.
Physical therapy can provide lasting results, and there are also numerous medications that can address pain and swelling.
If you experience mild neck pain resulting from a strain or sprain, there are steps you can take to relieve pain and stiffness. Resting the area is important; this allows your body to heal and prevent further injury.
Applying ice to the area can also reduce swelling and discomfort. Many people find relief through a neck or shoulder massage, and over-the-counter medications can also be useful for treating short-term minor pain.
If your neck pain seems to be related to your sleep habits, work demands, or repetitive motion, then lifestyle modifications may be the best way to avoid future injury. Change the position of your neck while working, studying, exercising, and sleeping to reduce discomfort.
If you have neck pain that’s moderate or worse, or persists for more than a few days, it may be time to schedule an appointment with a member of the Apex Medical Center team to learn about more treatment options.