Non-specific neck pain is one of the most common types of neck discomfort. The following article will cover some information about non specific neck pain causes and help you know more about the treatment options available.
Almost more than half of the population around the world has complained of neck pain at least once in their lifetime. Neck pain usually occurs due to tightness in the muscles of the upper back and neck. Pinched nerves of the cervical vertebrae also cause neck pain. Of the different types of neck pain, the most common type is non specific neck pain.
What is Non Specific Neck Pain?
When one cannot pinpoint any specific underlying disease, disorder, trauma or injury causing neck pain, it is termed as non specific pain in the neck. This condition is generally caused by a poor posture or minor sprain in the neck. It is important to move the neck at regular intervals for loosening the tightened muscles.
As mentioned in the definition above, causes of non specific pain in the neck are generally unknown. It is referred to as ‘simple’ neck pain sometimes. It is thought to have been caused either by straining or spraining of the neck muscles. A ligament pull in the neck can also cause this type of neck pain. It is very common in people who tend to sit in one position for long hours like accountants, cashiers, desk workers as well as those who work on the computer. A ‘bent forward’ posture generally leads to non specific pain in the neck.
The pain in the neck spreads towards the shoulders as well as towards the base of the skull. It usually occurs as a pain in back of head and neck. The pain may even radiate from the neck to the arms and the fingers. Other symptoms include ‘pins and needles’ in the neck muscles as well as hand. This occurs due to nerve irritation that travels from the arms into the spinal cord through the neck.
These symptoms generally occur suddenly and lead to acute neck pain. The pain usually persists for about a few days and will resolve on its own within a few weeks. It can develop into chronic pain in some people. These people often suffer from ‘flare-ups’ periodically without any apparent reason.
Doctors generally prescribe medications to ease pain in the neck. These medications include paracetamol, anti-inflammatory painkillers, muscle relaxants like diazepam, etc. One can even apply topical ointments and creams that help ease pain. Neck exercises help the muscles to relax, which in turn helps in improving movement. Apart from that, one needs to correct their sitting posture. Do not flex your head forward and sit with a stooped back on your seat. You need to sit upright as it will help ease the tension in the neck muscles. While sleeping, use a firm pillow that supports your head and neck. In some cases, the patient is advised to undergo traction and physiotherapy.
If the pain worsens or persists for more than 4 to 6 weeks, seek medical help. Numbness, weakness and persistent paresthesia indicates a nerve damage in neck. You should seek medical help if such a pain occurs when you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, AIDS, etc. The bones in the neck become tender to touch indicating bone disorders. Thus, it is advisable to get oneself examined by a doctor and find out the actual cause.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and does not in any way attempt to replace the diagnosis of a doctor. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.