Do you suffer from neck pain? You’re not alone. Neck pain is the most common type in the U.S. It can be caused by various things, including injuries, poor posture, and stress. One of the ways to treat neck pain is to approach pain management doctors. They will help you identify the source of your pain and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Identifying the type of neck problems you are experiencing is crucial to treat them properly. Here are the types of neck pain and how to treat them:
1) Axial Neck Pain
The axial type of neck pain is the most common. It’s often described as a dull, achy feeling in the middle or base of your neck. Axial neck pain may also be accompanied by muscle tenderness and stiffness.
To treat axial neck pain, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications, physical therapy, or other treatments.
If your pain is severe, you will need a doctor for steroid injections or surgery.
Axial neck pain can be caused by:
-Degenerative disc disease
2) Muscle Pain
Sometimes, the muscles in your neck can become strained from poor posture, repetitive motions, or sleeping in an awkward position. This pain is usually dull and achy. You may also feel tightness and stiffness in your neck muscles. To treat muscle pain, you can try:
– Applying heat or ice to the affected area
– Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
– Doing gentle stretches and exercises to loosen the muscles
– massaging the affected area
If your muscle pain is severe or persists for more than a few days, you should see a doctor. You may need physical therapy, which involves exercises and other treatments to help relieve the pain.
3) Joint Pain
The neck is full of small joints that work together to give you a wide range of motion. When these joints become inflamed or damaged, it’s called joint pain. Joint pain is often the result of arthritis, a degenerative disease that slowly wears away at the cartilage between your bones.
Joint pain can be caused by injuries like whiplash or a herniated disc. These injuries can damage the cartilage between the bones in your neck, leading to pain and stiffness.
Treating joint pain often involves a combination of rest, ice, heat, and over-the-counter pain relievers.
There are different types of headaches, but the most common ones are tension headaches and migraines. The muscles cause tension headaches in your neck and head being tight. Migraines are caused by the blood vessels in your head getting swollen.
Headaches lead to neck pain in about 70% of people. The best way to relieve tension headaches is to take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin. For migraines, you may need prescription medication. You can try applying a cold compress to your neck and head or a heating pad set on low.
5) Myelopathic Pain
It is caused by the compression of nerve tissue in the spinal cord. This pain is characterized by numbness, weakness, and sometimes paralysis in the arms and legs. Treatment typically includes corticosteroid injections or surgery to decompress the spinal cord.