The Causes and Treatment of Neck Strain
31-07-2017 | Posted By: Shagun Parasher | 942 View(s)
Neck strains if we go by the definitions does not involve a serious injury. It includes an injury to the muscles and ligaments of the neck. Your neck is prone to damage because of the motion it is subjected to, every day. There can be a moderate to high intensity of harm that is caused to the neck. A Neck Strain is not one of the serious injuries, but the dysfunction and pain that it leads to cannot be left unnoticed. We will talk about the causes of Neck Strain and measures that one should take to alleviate the pain.
Neck Strain and Its Causes
Your neck is that part of the body where stability is jeopardised because of mobility making it prone to injuries. A kind of damage that is caused to the muscles and ligaments of the neck is known as a Neck Strain. Any injury that causes the neck to jerk backwards or forward can cause a Neck Strain. It mostly affects athletes and even people in their day to day lives. You may think that Neck Strain is similar to Neck Sprain, but it’s not. There is a small difference between the two. Neck sprains are caused because of tearing of ligaments, whereas, Neck Strain is just a minor injury to the neck.
Symptoms of a Neck Strain
Here are a few symptoms of Neck Strains that may help you identify it if you have no idea what is causing the pain.
1. Pain and Decreased Motion: The pain caused due to strain is hard to ignore. Neck Strain leads to pain and decreased movement of the neck. It can cause tightness, and the muscles may feel hard as well.
2. Pain and Stiffness: You may feel pain while moving your head backwards and forward, side to side. It can also cause stiffness when you try to look over your shoulders.
3. Headaches and Tension on the Shoulders: This causes ache from the skull base that keeps radiating towards the forward. It can also create some tension around the neck and shoulders.
4. Inability to Perform: It gets difficult to perform activities that you usually do on a daily basis. You must be aware of symptoms such as pinched nerve, weakness, numbness, nerve irritation, tingling and dizziness.
5. Stiffness that extends towards the Back: You may experience some stiffness that radiates to your upper and lower back. This happens in cases that are severe.
Treating a Neck Strain: Remedies for Recovery
Most of the strains can be healed in a short period. It usually takes a day or two to repair. Here are a few measures you can undertake in dealing with the strain and swelling when you feel the injury is not severe or you can’t visit a doctor anytime soon.
1. Applying an Ice Pack: Icing the injured area helps in reducing pain and swelling. This should be done just after the injury. Use an ice pack for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours for approximately 3 days.
2. Apply Heat: You should apply heat only after you have done icing of your neck for 2-3 days. You need to ensure that the swelling has decreased if there was any. You can take a hot water bottle or warm wet towel. Some people often find taking a hot water bath more pain relieving.
3. Massage: You can ask someone to give you a gentle massage around the neck for a few minutes. Massaging the injured portion will increase the blood flow in that area and help you recover faster.
4. Neck Brace or Collar to the Rescue: It’s hard to move the neck when there is a strain. In this case, support for the neck can be used. This support can be a neck brace or a collar. These are, however, not recommended for long-term use as they are known to weaken the muscles of your neck.
5. Medicines: If prescribed by your doctor, you can take ibuprofen or naproxen for dealing with the strain and swelling. These are Non-Steroidal and Anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If over the counter medicines don’t work, then taking painkillers must be substantial. These drugs have some side effects as well. Therefore, you should never bring them to use unless your doctor has prescribed them to you.
When is the Right Time to Visit a Doctor?
You should immediately see a doctor, if,
• You went through an accident, be it a minor one.
• If you have been experiencing the pain for more than 3-4 days.
• If the pain is severe and you think you can’t stand it anymore.
• If you don’t feel any relief even after the medication.
• When you start noticing some severe muscle spasms.
• If the pain increases at night.
• If you feel any difficulty in hearing and swallowing.
• If there are dizziness, nausea and prolonged headache.
• If the pain radiates towards the back.
• If you notice ringing in the ears and decreased hearing.
• If you experience any tingling or loss of function in the upper limbs.
This was your checklist for Neck Strain.It is always better not to take even a small injury lightly as it may lead to a major Health Issue.Always take precautions to be on the safer side and pay attention towards every injury and do not wait for any magic to happen to heal your pain automatically. Stay Protected, Stay Healthy, Stay Happy.