Neck pain is very common complaint of patients visiting orthopedic clinics. People doing work with improper posture (e.g. leaning in front of computer) or carrying weight over head (e.g. Farmer, construction worker) develops neck pain frequently.
- Pain in neck region – this is commonest symptom. Dull achy pain is usually present in neck, upper part of back. Pain radiating from neck to arm or hand can be seen.
- Muscle tightness and spasm
- Difficulty in moving head
- Numbness or tingling sensation in arm , forearm or hand
- Weakness or decreased power of hand
- Muscle strain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
Most of neck pains are associated with poor posture while working and Age related degeneration.
- Correction of posture while working – preferable to sit upright
- Adjust position of desk, computer, and chair as per your height and maintain ergonomic posture.
- Adequate breaks at regular interval –while working for long hours or while travelling
- Avoiding lifting weight over head or shoulder
- Sleeping in appropriate posture
- Minimize use of smart phones
- X ray – helps us to see changes in shape e.g. straightening/list and degenerative changes.
- MRI – is helpful in diagnosing extent of degeneration, prolapse and nerve compression.
- CT scan and nerve conduction studies may be needed in some patients.
- Medicines – relieves pain and muscle spasm
- Physical therapy – helps in relief and prevention of recurrences
- Postural correction
- Surgery may be needed in severe cases
You can sleep on back, pillow should be thin enough to maintain curve of spine.
While you are using desktop and proper ergonomic desk and chair you can maintain ergonomic posture. However it is difficult to maintain with laptop. You can improvise with the help of separate mouse and keypad.
It is treatable and usually doesn’t lead to disability.
Postural correction and exercises to strengthening neck muscles help in minimizing recurrences.