National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported ~ 76 million individuals in the United States live with chronic pain. Among the different chronic pain condition, neck pain is one of the major sources of morbidity. It is a common complaint that occurs in the neck region because of minor strains or sprains to muscles or ligaments. Incorrect sitting posture such as leaning over a computer or hunching over workbench or osteoarthritis condition is the reason for the cause of neck pain. It is often accompanied with a headache, muscle spasm, and sometimes the person experience inability to move the head. If it is not improved by home remedy, a prompt medical attention is required. If severe pain persists more than a week and left without treatment, it can become serious and spread down to arms and legs. The affected individual is always experiencing severe fatigue accompanied by numbness, tingling, anxiety, and depression.
Which Medicine Is Good For Neck Pain?
Medicines for neck pain are supportive to some extent. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen have better efficacy in relation to paracetamol. They can either be used alone or can be added to paracetamol. Because, paracetamol not only used for fever, it is also the best medicine for mild to moderate pain relief. People with abdominal ulcers, breathing problems, hypertension, kidney dysfunction, or myocardial infarction cannot take these antiinflammatories. In such situations, a potent painkiller like codeine provides the best option. Codeine is frequently taken in combination with paracetamol. Constipation is commonly seen as a side-effect with this medication but can be easily overcome by consuming plenty of electrolyte drinks and fiber-rich foods.
Another suitable medicine for neck pain is muscle relaxant such as diazepam. It is rarely recommended by the expert for decreasing the high intensity of pain.
Corticosteroid medicines in the form of injection help to alleviate deep pain. Pain from the nerve roots, small facet joints in the cervical spine, and in the muscles of the neck can be managed with corticosteroid injections. Numbing medications, such as lidocaine, also can be injected to relieve neck pain.
Physical Therapy Program
A physical therapy program can help the sufferers learn the correct posture so as to best align the neck. Muscle strengthening exercises, heat, ice, e-stim are also done in physical therapy to calm down the pain and prevent recurrence of the condition.
TENS Unit: This is one of the most common types and short-term pain relief techniques. It involves the use of electrical stimulation for pain managing. A very low-voltage electric current is applied on the skin with the help of electrodes that assist in relieving pain.
Other Physical Therapies and Remedy
Therapy like stretching, traction, and pulley system provides relief of neck pain resulting due to nerve root irritation. However, this therapy must be performed with the help of medical professional or physiotherapist. A cervical collar, also known as a neck brace or soft collar, supports the neck resulting in pain relief by taking pressure off of the neck muscle. However, it is temporary and cannot be done for prolonged periods. Although surgery provides permanent relief from pain, it is very rarely recommended by the experts.
When To See a Physician?
- If the intensity of the pain is higher and the patient condition gets worse.
- If there is persistent pain for more than a month.
- Development of other symptoms like weakness, numbness, pins and needles sensation down the upper extremities.
Self-care methods like heat or cold pressure for about half an hour two to three times a day and gentle stretching like neck and shoulder rolls are best home remedies for neck pain. Acupuncture is the best alternative medicine and effective care for chronic neck pain. It is a promising complementary therapy to control fatigue due to chronic pain. At present, chiropractic’s conservative approach is the most trending technique and also helpful for managing of chronic pain.
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