We have all, at one point in our life, woken up looking forward to a good day, only to realise that we have a throbbing ache and a feeling of discomfort in our neck. Terrible, isn’t it? Neck pain or a stiff neck can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. It also interferes with your daily activities and schedule. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Health Interview Survey 2018, about 16% of the adult population experience neck pain in the span of three months.
Though neck muscle pain is temporary and harmless in most situations, it may turn chronic due to lack of proper care. Hence, it is extremely important to ensure that address the cause of the neck pain immediately, and work towards treating it. Neck pain or stiff neck usually develops when your muscles weaken over time due to bad posture or straining. Neck pain usually preceded or followed by stiffness in the neck and a restriction in movement. As per reports, neck pain is more prevalent in women, as compared to men.
Neck pain causes:
This is one of the most common causes of neck pain. Overuse of the neck muscle, due to spending long hours staring down at our laptops or smartphones leads to muscle strains. It can also occur due to bad sleeping and sitting positions for prolonged periods.
Trauma caused due to sudden or forced movement of the neck or head may lead to neck pain and soreness. Whiplash injury, in which the head is jerked forward and the backward, may also lead to extreme strain and pain.
Just like every other joint in the body, you neck joint also tends to wear down and become weaker with age. Conditions such as osteoarthritis causes the cartilage between your bones to deteriorate, which in turn affects the joint movement and causes pain.
We often tighten our neck muscles while gritting our teeth on reflex or otherwise due to tension. This commonly causes stiffness and pain the neck.
Straining or overusing our neck muscles during strenuous activities or exercises can also lead to neck pain.
Neck pain is also associated with several mental conditions such as anxiety and depression. In order to prevent neck pain from becoming a chronic condition, it is important to treat it immediately.
Prevention of Neck Pain
While neck pain can be treated from the comfort our home, it is important to keep in mind that if it persists long enough, one must consult a doctor to rule out any other possibilities. Here’s how you can prevent neck pain by making a few lifestyle changes:
Stress can cause you to tense the muscles on your shoulders, back, and neck, which in turn leads to stiffness and pain. So, the best way to prevent neck pain is to reduce stress. This can be done by listening to calming music, practising meditation, going for a walk in the park, or just taking a break from your hectic schedule.
Practise Good Posture for neck pain:
Working for long hours in front of the laptop or studying for a prolonged period time in the same place may lead to slumping or stiffness, which in turn causes neck pain. Practise sitting straight while working/studying and take breaks for a quick walk to ensure that your muscles are not strained.
Regular exercise is associated with multiple health benefits such as strengthening your muscles, boosting your immune system, relieving stress, and more. Following a regular exercise regime will help prevent neck and joint pains.
Create a practical workspace:
Ensure that you have practical, adjustable chair for your convenience, and use a proper posture while working. Make sure that your computer is at eye – level so that you can avoid craning your neck up or down.
Incorporate frequent movement:
If you are traveling, working or studying long hours, make sure that you get up to move around and stretch your shoulder, hip, and neck muscles.
Avoid Driving for long hours:
Driving also involves sitting in the same position as you navigate your vehicle, and can lead to stiffness of the neck. If you have to drive for long hours, stop the vehicle to take frequent breaks and stretch your muscles. Also make sure that your seat is adjusted properly to support your posture.
Work on your sleeping position:
While getting a good night’s sleep is extremely essential for your body, your sleeping position also plays an important role here. Sleeping on your back puts less strain on your neck muscles, than sleeping on your side or on your stomach. However, if you are sleeping on your side, ensure that the alignment of your spine is right. Using the right pillow also goes a long way in making sure that your neck muscles are relaxed.
Treating Neck Pain:
Though there are several measures that can be taken to prevent neck pain, certain inevitable factors lead to it. If you have severe neck pain or stiffness, there are various ways to obtain instant relief, ranging from medications to home remedies. Some of them are:
- Applying hot or cold packs
- Taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and if symptoms persists, medicating under doctor’s advise
- Gentle stretching
- Chiropractic care
While there are several preventive measures and treatment techniques to cure neck pain, there are situations where you need instant relief. During these situations, using a topical spray or gel is useful as it provides quick relief and a lon
g lasting effect. Omnigel with its Diclofenac formula, is a fast relief gel that acts immediately to reduce pain and. This fast pain relief gel also relieves inflammation and swelling, and gets quickly absorbed into the skin. It is compactly packaged and is available in gel and spray format, making it easier to for you take it along wherever you go. Instant relief, anytime and anywhere!