Pain is an unpleasant feeling regardless of where it may be located. But pain in the neck region can be particularly uncomfortable. Sometimes called a crook in the neck or kinked neck, this pain can be caused by a number of things. Depending on the cause, the pain can be very severe and last for a few days or even weeks. It can also impair the movement of the head and make doing everyday things very difficult. On average, women are more likely to suffer from this condition than men.
What are the causes?
The most common cause of neck pain is due to sleeping in a poor posture during the night. If your pillow is too high or low, it can stretch the muscles in the neck and cause inflammation. It can also cause the nerve to be trapped or pinched and this can cause longer term pain.
Cervical spondylosis is another common cause for pain. It is caused by compression of the nerve fibres in the cervical region of the spine. This compression is caused by the gap between the cervical vertebras being too small and pinching the nerve.
Trauma can be another factor, this includes whiplash caused by a car accident or other incident. This type of injury can be very prolonged and take many months to recover.
Other causes of pain in the neck can be osteoporosis, arthritis or activities that result in stooping and bending the neck forward like prolonged computer use.
How can you treat a stiff neck?
There are a few treatments for stiffness and pain in the neck.
- The basic part, rest as much as you can. This isn’t always easy, but the other remedies will take longer to work without rest.
- Hot or cold compresses applied to the neck for up to 10 minutes 3-4 times a day.
- Acupuncture or acupressure for severe or long term problems.
- Massage with coconut oil or a balm to help healing and improve circulation.
- Eating potassium rich foods such as bananas, dates and avocadoes to eliminate muscle spasm.
Of course, once you have treated the problem, try to eliminate further episodes by sitting in the correct posture or changing your sleeping position and pillows.
Most causes for neck spasm and pain will improve over a few days, however, if this is not the case, then advice from your doctor should be sought.