Neck pain occurs frequently to most people. Usually neck pain is not serious. There are many causes for neck pain including poor posture. Neck pain can also be a symptom of a serious injury or disease. If your neck pain continues longer than a few days despite home care seek medical treatment.
Neck pain can feel like a sharp or dull pain in your neck or it can simply be a stiff neck. You may experience difficulty performing normal daily tasks when you have neck pain.
Some people have shoulder pain in addition to neck pain or they may also have back pain.
Muscle strains, worn out joints, disk disorders and injuries can all result in neck pain.
What do you do if you suffer from neck pain?
Most neck pain responds to home care but it is important to know when to seek medical treatment for your neck pain.
If your neck pain is caused by neck or head trauma like if you were recently in a car accident and may have suffered whiplash or if you received a blow to the head during a sport game you should seek medical attention.
If the neck pain is a shooting pain that radiates from your shoulder or goes down your arm you should see a doctor. If you notice numbness or tingling in your fingers along with your neck pain you should make a medical appointment. If you notice a loss of strength in arms or legs or experience stiffness in your legs or you start to shuffle while you walk you may be experiencing a neurological cause for the neck pain and should seek medical care immediately. If you should suddenly become incontinent (lose bladder control) you should see a medical doctor.
Home care for neck pain:
The goal of home care for neck pain is to relieve the pain. Cold decreases the sensation of pain so place a cold pack on your neck for 15 to 20 minutes. If you suspect you strained your neck muscles they may respond to heat applied for 15 to 20 minutes. If you experience chronic neck pain try using a cervical pillow to support your neck while resting. Use over-the-counter pain relievers, gently move your neck from side to side holding it for 30 seconds on each side. Over-the-counter creams may be useful especially if they contain menthol or camphor. Learn good posture to avoid neck pain.
If you seek medical care for neck pain expect that you may require neck x-rays, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT) scans or even an electromyography (EMG).
Mayo Clinic Neck Pain http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/neck-pain/DS00542/DSECTION=when-to-seek-medical-advice
Back and Body Care: Neck Pain http://www.backandbodycare.com/home/neck/neck.htm