Cervical pain affects the neck, shoulders, and arms of about one out of every three Americans annually. Chronic or acute neck pain can respond to natural treatments–ones you can do in the comfort of your own home.
Let’s talk about this common and sometimes debilitating complaint and how your orthopedic team in Johnson City, TN, can help you feel and function better.
Reasons For Cervical Pain
Neck pain involves the area just below the base of the skull. Also called the cervical spine, your neck is a complex structure composed of bones (vertebrae), muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and an extensive blood supply.
Sadly, many factors can cause discomfort in the neck. Some are very serious, such as trauma from an automobile mishap or a fall downstairs. Others are more precise and cumulative. These cases are more responsive to minimally invasive or natural treatments you can do at home.
Reasons for acute (sudden) or chronic (long-lasting) neck pain includes:
- Poor posture or sleep position
- Nerve impingement due to arthritis or spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the skeletal structure surrounding the spinal cord)
- Prolonged mental and emotional stress
- Degenerative disc disease
- Muscular strain due to repetitive motions
Evaluating The Reasons for Cervical Pain
Your orthopedic surgeon in Johnson City, TN, can pinpoint the source of your neck pain and recommend ways to eliminate or manage it and keep it from recurring. When you come to the orthopedic clinic for a consultation, your physician will ask you about your symptoms–when and where they occur and their quality. Is this an aching sensation, tingling, or stabbing pain? Where is the discomfort located, and does it radiate down the shoulders and arms? What, if anything, helps relieve it?
Also, your orthopedic surgeon will manually examine your cervical spine, including assessing your strength, range of motion, and reflexes. He may perform additional tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to look for structural abnormalities contributing to your cervical pain.
Natural Relief for Cervical Pain
Your neck pain treatment plan will depend on your physician’s discovery after a complete in-office examination. For many patients, natural methods work well to relieve pain and prevent its return. Here are just some of the many techniques your orthopedic surgeon may advise..
Our on-site team can provide a wealth of stretching and strengthening exercises and assistive devices, such as soft cervical collars to realign your cervical spine and provide the support it needs. Physical therapy may include massage to relieve tension and improve blood flow and flexibility.
Pillow and sleep positions
A quality bed pillow, especially the U-shaped, will keep your neck properly aligned and supported through the night. Also, most orthopedic doctors advise sleeping on your back to avoid hours of muscular strain that side-lying sleep positions cause.
Correct your posture
Intentionally walk and sit with your head up and shoulders back. Plus, when you are working at your computer, keep the screen at eye level to avoid poor posture and strain on the neck and shoulder muscles. Experts at the Cleveland Clinic also recommend positioning your phone, tablet, newspaper, or book at eye level.
Get regular exercise
Your PCP will recommend a light aerobic exercise for 150 minutes, which will control weight and improve cardiovascular health. It also strengthens your spine from the neck to the lumbar region.
Apply heat/cold to your neck
Use whichever one helps relieve the discomfort. Apply the hot or cold pack 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
Take time from your busy day to relax. Take breaks to read, walk, pray or meditate. And, don’t try to stretch your day. Get eight hours of sleep to reduce mental and physical stress.
Exceptional Orthopedic Care in Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol, TN
At Watauga Orthopaedics, our professional team of board-certified physicians, mid-level practitioners, and physical therapists dedicate both time and energy to providing excellent multispecialty care. Whether you need surgery, a sports medicine evaluation, walk-in clinic services, or something else, your assessment and treatment will center on you and your specific musculoskeletal needs.