Free Pain Relief Newsletter
Pain Relief Articles -
Exercise: A Natural
Reliever For Chronic Low Back Pain
4 Natural Home
Remedies to Ease the Pain of Sunburn
Grip on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Way To Pain Relief
of Alternative Medicine
Neck Pain Management
Migraines - Food
Treating Arthritis - Naturally
Getting Well With Smell
Guided Imagery - The Healing Power of
The Healing Power of Food
Healing With Herbs
Healing With Movement
Healing With Water
Self-Healing With Homeopathy
Laughter Is Good Medicine
Treat Your Own Back Pain
Healing With Your Mind
There's no such
thing as a typical pain in the neck. Neck pain can be caused by
injuries like whiplash as well as everyday strains like hunching
over a computer monitor. Or neck pain can be a warning of a more
As we age, neck
pain is inevitable and a natural phenomenon. Years of swiveling your
vertebrae (neck bones) and the cartilage that cushions it (discs)
creates wear and tear on their flexibility.
Neck Pain Isn't All The Same
Neck pain is
generally diagnosed as acute or chronic. Acute neck pain is
temporary and strikes immediately, usually because of a sudden
muscle strain. Chronic neck pain is persistent and can linger
conditions overlap both classifications of pain. In some cases,
whiplash may be acute at the time of injury but may progress into a
Pain Type #1: Osteoarthritis
triggers a breakdown in cartilage, making discs thin and inelastic.
It's accompanied by the development of bony outgrowths called spurs
which make the neck stiff and painful to move.
Pain Type #2: Pinched Nerves
related source of neck pain are pinched nerves. Overtime, discs
become dry, constricting the space in the spinal column where nerves
come out. This results in these nerves becoming impinged and
producing neck pain. Nerves can also become pinched when discs
herniate due to muscle strain.
Pain Type #3: Whiplash and Other Injuries
Neck injuries are
a serious source of neck pain which may involve spinal cord damage.
Besides whiplash caused by rear end collisions, diving into shallow
pools and contact sports are frequent sources of neck injuries.
All neck injuries
require immediate medical attention. Fortunately, most neck injury
pain, including whiplash, is located in muscles and ligaments and
usually disappears in a few months.
With an early
diagnosis, treatments can be started that not only provide pain
relief and management, but help slow the progression of neck
problems. The most frequently used neck treatments are surgery,
medicine and alternative therapies.
If medicine and
physical therapy fail to bring relief, surgery is often thought as a
last resort for neck pain management. However, there are limits to
what surgery can accomplish. It can't undo damage from wear and
aging. And it also carries risks.
One of the most
common types of neck pain surgeries is an anterior cervical
discectomy. This procedure relieves nerve pressure on the spinal
cord by enlarging the nerve opening, removing the disc and any bone
spurs irritating the spinal nerve roots. The space between vertebrae
left after disc removal is filled with bone and reinforced with a
metal plate through a procedure called "fusion". This operation
carries with it the risk of stroke and paralysis.
Corpectomy, is a more complicated version of an anterior cervical
discectomy in that it also involves removing vertebrae as well as
discs. It's also carries the additional risk of spinal cord damage
and total paralysis.
A much less
invasive type of neck pain operation is an epidural, which is a
specific type of nerve block. This is performed by injecting
medication into and around the epidural space on the spinal canal
where nerves are located. While this procedure provide relief from
small disc herniations and mild spinal stenosis, it's only
procedure involves corticosteroids, there's the danger of serious
health risks and potentially life threatening side effects. This
neck pain therapy should only be administered once or twice a year
due to the risk of permanent cartilage damage.
Management and Relief Medications
treatments for neck pain range from over-the-counter medicines like
aspirin to prescription drugs. Pain relievers like acetaminophen may
be helpful to osteo neck pain sufferers since their condition
involves little inflammation.
For people with
rheumatoid neck pain, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs),
which include ibuprofen, aspirin and newer drugs like are helpful.
NSAIDs with COX-2 specific inhibitors that block an enzyme known to
cause an inflammatory response are often prescribed by medical
doctors for neck pain management and relief. However these drugs
carry with them the risk of side effects like heart disease,
digestive disorders, ulcers and liver damage.
pain sufferers who don't respond to NSAIDs are often given DMARDs,
disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. These drugs are believed to
correct immune system deficiencies contributing to rheumatoid neck.
They include Arava and methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine,
penicillamine, and gold injections, all of which may cause side
effects if not monitored closely.
class of drugs known as biological response modifiers, reduce
rheumatoid neck pain by blocking an immune system protein involved
in an inflammatory immune system response.
disadvantage of using medications for neck pain relief and
management is the risk of addiction over an extended period.
Medications can't cure degenerative neck pain, they're prescribed
for the management of its inflammation and pain.
Natural Pain Management and
Alternative Medicine Doctors
alternative medicine professionals offer neck pain sufferers the
option of natural pain management and relief therapies without the
risks of surgical and pharmaceutical approaches. Their methods of
treating neck pain ranging from whiplash to osteoarthritis are more
conservative than the medical establishment's and often just as
effective if not more so.