Stating that neck pain is a common musculoskeletal condition and that most people experience neck pain at least once in their lives, physical therapy and rehabilitation specialist Uzm. Dr Büşra Değirmenci said, “About 15 percent of this turns into chronic neck pain.” Değirmenci provided information about the causes of this common neck pain and performed simple exercises.
exp. Dr. Büşra Değirmenci was the first to list the causes of pain and said: “Neck pain can be caused by different anatomical structures and many different diseases. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, intervertebral discs, cervical nerve roots, and facet joints in the neck can all be a source of pain. Although neck pain is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to neck pain, most pain is actually caused by muscle, connective tissue or posture disorders.
Watch out for these symptoms
Noting that many factors can also cause neck pain in our daily lives, Değirmenci said, “Neck pain is common, especially in people who work at a desk and use a computer. Causes such as working bent forward, talking on the phone by keeping the neck bent forward for a long time, using a tablet / computer, doing crafts, driving a car, choosing an unsuitable pillow and doing housework where the neck in a certain position for a long time can cause pain. Stress in everyday life increases neck pain. Along with neck pain, back-shoulder pain, numbness in the hands, dizziness, and headache can be seen. In addition to muscle and connective tissue pain, trauma, arthrosis (calcification), hernia (neck hernia), narrowing of the spinal canal, rheumatic diseases, infectious and tumor diseases involving the spine can also cause neck pain.
“The most common complaint of neck hernia is pain in the arm”
Değirmenci, who has expressed what the symptoms may be about whether or not you have a cervical disc herniation, said: “Hernia occurs when the discs between the vertebrae degenerate, lose their elasticity and protrude between the vertebrae. The most common complaint of neck hernia is neck pain accompanied by arm pain. Hernias can press on nerve endings and cause severe pain. During the physical examination, loss of strength and feeling in the arm or hand may be noted. According to the neurological examination diagnoses, radiological examination is requested. Cervical disc herniation cannot be diagnosed with MR imaging alone. If the patient’s complaint, examination diagnoses and radiological examination overlap, a cervical disc herniation is diagnosed.
“The first step in the approach to the patient is the distinction between acute and chronic”
“In acute cases with neck pain, controlling the pain, edema and inflammatory state secondary to the injury, protecting the damaged structures, early mobilization, reducing the load on the joint and exercises are the most important elements of treatment,” said Uzm. Dr Büşra Değirmenci continued:
“In the chronic period, ensuring the range of motion of the joints, gaining muscle strength, endurance and coordination, accelerating the return to normal activity and preventing the recurrence of the pathology are the methods to be applied in the treatment. Surgical methods are as follows: medical treatment, hot-cold applications, exercise, various physiotherapy modalities, trigger point injection, dry needling, ozone injection, prolotherapy, injections for the spine and injection methods such as nerve blocks, kinesiology taping, orthoses and surgical methods used.”
Take short breaks every 30-40 minutes
Değirmenci, who also offers advice on relieving neck pain, said: “Using pillows is important for people with neck pain. While sleeping, the natural position of the neck should not be disturbed. Using the pillow in the wrong position can cause spasms in the neck muscles and a flattening of the neck by pushing the head forward. Smoking should be avoided as smoking causes degeneration of the intervertebral discs and paves the way for disc herniation. It is very important to make appropriate ergonomic changes in desk workers. When the distance from the head to the computer screen is too great, the person has to stretch their neck forward to see better, which can lead to a flatter neck. The elbows of the keyboard and mouse should be bent 90 degrees and positioned so that they can be used with support. Constantly standing in the same position of the neck causes tension and fatigue of the muscles and contributes to the formation of neck pain. To avoid this, it is recommended to take a short break every 30-40 minutes and exercise during the breaks.
Miller eventually listed simple exercise suggestions that will relieve neck pain as follows:
Gently tilt your head forward so that your chin touches your chest, hold it there for 5 seconds, then tilt it back in the same way.
Slowly tilt your head to the right with your ear to your shoulder, hold for 5 seconds, then tilt to the left in the same way.
Turn your head to the right to see your shoulder, hold for 5 seconds, then turn to the left in the same way.
Put both hands on your forehead, push your head towards your hands without bending your neck forward.
Put both hands behind your head, without bending your neck back, push your head back towards your hands.
Place your right hand on the right side of your face, push your head to the right without bending your neck to the side. Repeat the same for the left side.
Raise your shoulders from front to back and back to front.
Lift your shoulders, tighten and hold your shoulder muscles for 10 seconds, then release.
After interlocking your fingers, straighten your back by extending your arms and pushing forward.
Bend your shoulders back, interlocking your fingers behind your back.