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Tightness in the Neck

Tightness in the Neck

There could be more than one reason behind the tightness in your neck and the discomfort caused by the same. Read further to get more information on this topic.
Rutuja Jathar
Do you regularly experience stiffness and a pain-like sensation in your neck region? According to experts, almost every adult has some degree of tightness in his or her neck, however, it's so mild that people will only notice it if it's pressed. There are several causes which lead to a feeling of tightness in the neck region.
Significant Causes
If you're experiencing minor pain while moving your neck from one side to the other, neck spasm is probably the cause. People also feel tightness in the neck when they are tired and tense. Let us know what are some other causes.
Muscle Strain Through Activity
More often than not, a tightness around the neck or surrounding areas is a condition that is experienced by athletes and sports-persons, especially those into running and jumping. Now you need to understand that the human neck has some pretty prominent muscles located in the neck region, so in most cases, the pain and stiffness in the neck is probably due to a pulled or torn muscle. Accompanying this is the feeling of extreme tiredness which can lead to stiffness of the muscles in this region, causing tightness in the neck. Your neck can experience pain even if you have strained the upper portion of your spine, which is caused mostly out of spine curling exercises that are performed in order to strengthen and align a person's spine.
Diseases and Anxiety
An underlying reason could be swollen lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes in the neck are basically caused by cold and tuberculosis, strep throat, several sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gum diseases, sinus infection, and even several types of cancer. Another cause that could contribute is anxiety. When a person's asleep, the muscles present in the body are supposed to relax completely, however, a person suffering from anxiety may still hold on to a certain degree of stiffness even after he/she is asleep, this tightness over time if left untreated will develop into pain.
Disorders and Bad Resting Postures
There are a few serious health conditions besides the ones mentioned before that can cause neck tightness too. These include meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebral hemorrhage, cervical arthritis or cervical pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, tetanus, whiplash injury, and several types of viral and bacterial infections. A cricopharyngeal spasm is normally the culprit behind tightness in the neck in children. The other reason being resting in an incorrect posture. If you are going to subject your neck muscles to constant tension by sleeping on a pillow too high, resting on the couch, or lying down on your chair, then don't expect to wake up bright and agile, because you're ignoring your neck muscles' cries for help which are going to make you regret your decision.
Treatment Options
Before deciding the course of treatment for any health condition, it is very important to identify the reason behind the same. If the tightness and pain in the neck is due to tiredness and exertion, then it will probably fade within a few hours to a day or two. However, if that's not the case, then it is better to visit your doctor and get the reasons evaluated. The doctor will probably perform several physical tests including X-rays if necessary, and will ask for a detailed medical history, so as to determine the path of treatment. He will most probably prescribe medication that will eliminate this problem. Along with getting rid of the symptoms, your doctor will also help you to identify and eradicate the root cause of the tightness in your neck by educating you about the changes you need to make in your lifestyle.
Warming up before indulging in rigorous exercise is very important so that the muscles don't experience sudden pressure. Another thing that could provide great relief is undergoing aromatherapy. Massaging mildly with essential oils and performing some mild neck stretches and exercises will ease the pressure from the neck and provide relief from the feeling of tightness. Remember, if you experience unbearable pain while stretching, do not continue the exercise, contact your doctor immediately.
Mild or severe, the prime rule is not to overlook any of the symptoms, especially if they have been appearing for a prolonged time period. Timely medical intervention and treatment is always better than waiting and aggravating any medical problem.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information purpose only. Do not use the information presented herein as a substitute for medical practitioner's advice.