Neck pain results when the spine is stressed by injury, disease, wear and tear, or poor body mechanics. Severe neck pain is abrupt, extreme pain that can radiate to the head, shoulders, arms, or hands. It generally subsides within days or weeks with rest, physical therapy and other self-care steps. You play a vital role in the prevention, treatment and recovery procedure of neck pain However, if chronic, pain will persist regardless of treatment and require additional evaluation.
Types of neck pain
With the most variety of motion, the cervical spinal column can be susceptible to overuse and injury (Fig. 1). Neck pain varies from mild to severe depending upon the amount of injury, and can be severe or chronic.
Acute neck pain occurs unexpectedly and usually heals within numerous days to weeks. The source of pain is normally in the muscles and ligaments, joints, or discs.
Chronic neck pain continues for more than 3 months; it might be felt all the time or get worse with particular activities. Although its source may be hard to figure out, contributing factors include nerve damage, tissue scarring, arthritis, or psychological results of pain. Individuals with chronic symptoms might be described a pain expert (see Pain Management).
What are the symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of neck pain might be stiffness, tightness, aching, burning or stabbing or shooting pains, pressure, or tingling. You cannot move neck to the left, side to side, backwards, up and down. Muscles can feel sore or tense in the neck, face, or shoulders. Muscles can spasm when they go into a state of severe contraction (e.g., after whiplash). Movement may be restricted– perhaps you can not turn your head, according to iytmed.com website. If nerves are involved, pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness might establish in your shoulders, arms or hands.
A number of scenarios signify the need for prompt medical attention. If nerve compression is severe, symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling in the arms or legs, loss of bladder or bowel control, or loss of strength and problems with coordination.
Neck pain along with a severe headache, fever, or queasiness could be a sign of infection or a bleed in the brain. If your neck is so stiff that you cannot touch your chin to chest, look for medical help right away.
Main Causes Why You Can’t Move Neck
Neck pain can result from injury, bad posture, stress, natural wear, disease, and other sources. Poor back positioning (e.g., slouching, sleeping on the stomach) and incorrect lifting stress the cervical spine and make injuries more likely. Neck pain can result from:
- Injury or trauma: A whiplash injury, sports injury, or fall can strain or tear muscles and ligaments. Fractures can take place.
- Bulging or herniated disc: The gel-like center of a back disc can bulge or burst through a weak area in the wall and compress nerves.
- Pinched nerve: Compression of a back nerve as it leaves the canal can cause pain to travel down the arm into the hands or fingers. Pinched nerve pain differs from carpal tunnel syndrome, which usually involve numbness.
- Osteoarthritis (degenerative disc disease): As discs naturally age they dry and diminish; bone stimulates can form. These changes result in stenosis or disc herniation.
- Stenosis: Narrowing of the bony canals in the spinal column can compress the cord and nerves, triggering them to swell and irritate.
How is a diagnosis made?
A careful medical examination will help identify the type and cause of your neck problem, and the best treatment options. A diagnostic evaluation consists of a case history and physical examination. In some cases imaging scans (e.g., x-ray, CT, MRI) and tests to examine muscle strength and reflexes are used.
What Treatments Are Available if You Can’t Move Your Neck?
Recovery begins with self-care and nonsurgical methods. The goal is to remedy the problem, restore function, and prevent re-injury.
Self care: Neck pain frequently fixes with rest, ice or heat, massage, pain relievers, and gentle stretches. Reduce muscle inflammation and pain using an ice pack for 20 minutes numerous times a day during the first 48 to 72 hours. Thereafter, a warm shower or heating pad on low setting might be contributed to relax the muscles to able to move neck from side to side, up and down, backwards and rotate without severe pain. A brief period of bed rest is okay, but more than a couple of days does more harm than good. If self-care treatments aren’t working within the first few days, see your doctor.
Medications: Many people get pain relief with non-prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. A muscle relaxant may be recommended for convulsions. If pain is severe, an analgesic may be recommended that can be taken with the NSAID or muscle relaxant.
Steroids can reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerves. They are taken orally as a Medrol dosage pack tapered over a five-day period or by an injection straight into the pain source (see epidural steroid injections and facet injections). Steroids might supply immediate pain relief within 24-hours.
Physical therapy/workout: For a lot of problem when human can’t move neck from side to side and other directions, we advise an almost normal schedule from the start. Physical therapy can help you go back to full activity as quickly as possible and avoid re-injury. Physical therapists will show proper lifting and walking strategies, and exercises to strengthen and stretch your neck, arms, and abdominal muscles. Massage, ultrasound, diathermy, heat, and traction may likewise be advised for short periods. Individuals might likewise gain from yoga, chiropractic control, and acupuncture.
Surgery: Surgery is rarely required unless you have muscle weakness, a tested disc herniation, cervical cable compression, problems with balance and coordination, or severe pain that does not solve after an affordable course of nonsurgical treatment.
Can’t Move Neck: Recovery and Prevention
Many people with severe neck pain react rapidly to treatment; 90% are symptom-free within 1 to 2 weeks. A positive attitude, regular activity, and a timely return to work are all very important components of recovery. If routine job tasks can not be performed at first, modified (light or limited) responsibility may be recommended for a restricted time.
Prevention is vital to avoiding reoccurrence:
- Appropriate lifting methods
- Correct posture during sitting, standing, moving, and sleeping
- Regular exercise with stretching and strengthening
- An ergonomic work area
- Good nutrition, healthy weight, lean body mass
- Stress management and relaxation strategies
- No smoking cigarettes
During a camping trip months ago, I had a very severe case of stiff neck when I woke up in my tent. Even though it disappeared after a day or so, the pain was still significant that I don’t want it to ever happen again. It’s interesting to know that steroids can be used to treat some neck pain but I think I’ll just stick to getting prescriptions for muscle relaxants.