Neck pain is a common problem in IT professionals and those who strain the neck for a prolonged period of time. The neck or cervical spine is a network of nerves, muscles, bones, and joints. It provides stability and mobility to the head. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture when working on the computer and other activities. Cervical muscles and spine will be stressed when we lean head forward for a prolonged period of time. This leads to forward head posture, at this condition, there will be imbalances in the muscles which predisposes to neck pain. There are many other causes for neck pain, it can include irritation along nerve pathways that can cause pain in the shoulder, arm, hand, and head. Nowadays neck pain is widely seen in young adults who use smartphones for prolonged periods of time.
Cervical radiculopathy is a condition that occurs due to herniated cervical disc. It can cause radiation to either side. It occurs when the cervical disc impinges on cervical nerve roots, which produces pain or numbness, sensory deficits, or motor dysfunction in the neck or upper extremities. Cervical radiculopathy can also occur in the case of cervical spondylosis refers to degenerative changes in the cervical disc, in these cases, there will b decreased disc height and foraminal narrowing, this causes increased load placed on the intervertebral joints as well as vertebral bodies leading to bony hypertrophy, this, in turn, leads to foramen stenosis and radiculopathy. In the case of cervical radiculopathy, there can be weakness of the deltoid, biceps, wrist extensors, triceps, wrist flexors, finger flexors, and hand intrinsic muscles.
Certain special tests are used for the diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy, these are spurlings test, upper limb tension-1, distraction test, involved side cervical rotation range less than 60 degrees. There is a 90% possibility of cervical radiculopathy if all these tests are positive, if only 3 of the 4 tests are positive possibility reduces to 65%. Right side neck pain can occur when u fall asleep in an odd posture, or it may be due to several other reasons. If a diagnosis of chronic right side neck pain is done properly treatment will be effective. If right side neck pain is persisting for a longer period and does not subside with rest it could be due to a spine-related disorder so you have to seek a health care professionals as early as possible. Right side neck pain may occur due to degenerative disc disease, in this condition the disc that serves between cervical vertebras undergo degeneration. Right side neck pain can also occur due to herniated disc, in this condition the inner gelatinous portion of the disc begins to protrude through the harder portion of the disc. In the case of acute torticollis, we will wake up with a twisted stiff neck causing pain on the right side of the neck, spreading over the shoulder. Left side neck pain can be caused the same as the above factors of right side neck pain, symptoms will also be the same. Both right and left side neck pain can also be caused due to following, grinding the teeth, whiplash injury, muscle strain when lifting heavy objects. holding the phone between ear and shoulder, leaning forward for several hours. Simultaneous neck and shoulder are common and can occur due to sprain and strain. Symptoms will include tingling, shooting pain, stiffness, numbness, spasms, and soreness. Neck and shoulder pain can be in case of injury to soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Depending upon the cause of neck and shoulder-neck pain, the intensity of the pain will vary from different activities. People having neck-shoulder pain some people find neck pain more concerning, others feel shoulder pain more painful. The most common cause is a cervical herniated disc, cervical spondylosis, muscle strain, stinger injury. When the cervical disc bulges out it impinge the nerve root causing pain. In cervical spondylosis when degeneration happens it causes cervical foramen stenosis leads to compression of the spinal nerve. There are several muscles in the neck and shoulder region, when levator scapula or trapezius are strained it can cause pain in the neck and shoulder region, sometimes pain can be referred to as a different region. A stinger injury is when a collision happens that causes the neck to bend sideways, it may overstretch the nerves between. It results in symptoms like, a shock-like pain that shoots down the arm. Other symptoms of stinger injury include tingling, weakness, or numbness. Other causes of neck and shoulder pain are thoracic outlet syndrome, brachial neuritis, cervical myofascial pain syndrome, shoulder osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. In the case of thoracic outlet syndrome, the nerves or blood vessels will compress between the thoracic outlet. Brachial neuritis occurs when the brachial plexus is inflamed or damaged, there will be sharp shock-like pain. In the case of cervical myofascial pain syndrome trigger, points will be present, when applying pressure to those points it may radiate pain to other parts, so it is necessary to relieve those trigger points. There will be widespread pain, fatigue, tender points in fibromyalgia, it co-exists in patients with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. When we are sleeping right pillow is very essential to keep the neck in a neutral position. Without the right pillow, intricate muscles will become stressed which worsens the neck pain that existing or causes pain or stiffness in day time. A pillow that is too flat will put a strain on the neck, on the other hand, a pillow that is too high will not allow neck muscles to relax during sleeping. Some of the home remedies for neck pain are creat an ergonomic workplace, limit the use of a smartphone, don’t drive for too long at a time, do stretches, change your sleep position, apply heat or ice, avoid sudden movements, reduce physical activity, exercise regularly, reduce stress. Some persons might have neck pain accompanied by headaches, this can occur due to the following reasons. Cervicogenic headache is caused to any problem regarding cervical disc, joint muscles, nerves, etc. It begins as a dull ache in the neck radiate upward towards the back of the neck, mostly affects one side.Another cause is occipital neuralgia which produces a shock-like painful sensation on the back of the neck, head, and ears.Usually occurs on one side begins in the upper neck and spreads to the head. If you have neck pain that lasts for days, stiff neck, or radiculopathy consult a healthcare practitioner for early diagnosis and better and fast recovery.Physiotherapy includes varieties for treatment intervention for neck pain.Which includes manual therapy, acupuncture, dry needling, shockwave therapy, exercises, etc.Once you consult a physiotherapist they will do a proper assessment and design a treatment protocol depends on the diagnosis for better result.