Diseases

Can Neck Pain Be a Sign of Something Serious?

It is common for people to experience pain on the right side of the neck. In most cases, the pain occurs due to a muscle strain or other benign cause. People often treat their pain with home remedies and medications. However, it is best to consult a doctor if it is a severe or prolonged neck pain.

The neck is a vital part of the human body, comprising spinal bones, muscles, and other tissues. Unlike other crucial parts of the body, the channel is exposed and at risk of injury. The neck is also prone to tension from constant movement throughout the day.

It is also common for a person to experience pain in related areas, such as the shoulders, back, jaw, and head.

In this article, we discuss nine common causes of pain on the right side of the neck and treatment options and when to see a doctor.

Causes of pain in the right side of the neck

Also read : The Adverse Effects of Working at Night on the Human Body

Some of the more common causes of pain include the following:

1. Degeneration Or Wear

The vertebrae and discs in the neck will suffer wear and tear with age. As they degenerate, a person may experience chronic or persistent neck pain.

Some medical conditions can also cause the vertebrae, discs, and other neck parts to break.

These conditions can include:

  • inflammation
  • pinched nerves
  • cervical fractures
  • arthritis
  • cervical disc degeneration

2. Bad Sleeping Position

It’s common to wake up feeling stiffness or pain in your shoulders, back, or neck.

People’s position when sleeping, the number of pillows they use, and the firmness of the mattress can affect how they feel when they wake up in the morning.

Sleeping, either without head support or with a misaligned neck, increases the likelihood of waking up with neck pain.

3. Nonspecific Neck Pain

In some cases, it is difficult to identify the exact cause of neck pain.

This pain with no apparent cause is often the result of a minor sprain or tear in muscle tissue. This type of pain is most common in the neck.

Pain can sometimes be due to poor posture. Keeping your neck misaligned for long periods can strain your muscles.

It is particularly true when a person is leaning forward at work for several hours a day.

4. Stress And Anxiety

Stress can cause muscles to contract. People often talk about keeping their neck and back tight, and they can feel pain from the excess tension.

5. Sudden Or Acute Onset Torticollis

Torticollis is a medical condition in which the head drifts to one side. It can be harrowing to try to straighten it. The cause of torticollis is not always known.

While doctors suspect that most cases are due to the minor ligament or muscle sprains in the neck, another cause could be exposing the neck to cold temperatures for a prolonged period.

Torticollis usually occurs at night, which means that a person will have no symptoms when they go to bed but will not be able to move their neck upon waking. In most cases, the pain will subside after a few days, and the movement will return to normal.

Sometimes torticollis can be a symptom of a more serious health problem. Some possible underlying causes of torticollis include tumours, infections, and side effects from taking medications.

6. Brachial Plexus Injury

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand defines the brachial plexus is a collection of nerves that connect the spinal cord in the neck to the hands.

If a neck injury affects the brachial plexus, pain in hand may also remain felt.

A common cause of brachial plexus injuries is blunt force trauma, which can occur from a sports injury or a car accident.

7. Sudden Whiplash Or Jolt To The Neck

Whiplash describes a neck injury where the head moves forward and then snaps back into place very quickly.

The movement resembles the snap of a whip. People tend to think that whiplash occurs in car accidents, but it can also occur due to sports activities and other sudden movements.

8. Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy, which people often refer to as pinched or pinched nerves, occurs when irritation of the nerves originating from the spinal cord in the neck causes pain to radiate down the lower arm.

While this can lead to neck pain, the main symptoms include:

  • numbness in the arms
  • pins and needles sensation in the arms
  • pain or weakness in part of the arms

The two most common causes of cervical radiculopathy are cervical spondylosis. Or arthritis of the neck and a prolapsed disc.

Treatment And Home Remedies

When neck pain is mild or moderate, symptoms can usually remain treated at home. Some cases of neck pain will disappear quickly within a day, while others may take a few weeks to resolve fully.

Someone with this pain might want to use home remedies before seeking medical help. Here are some methods to relieve pain:

  • taking over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications
  • applying heat with heating pads, baths, or towels dampened with lukewarm water
  • massaging and manipulating the neck
  • stretch your neck
  • reduce stress
  • apply ice to the injured area
  • practice good posture when sitting, standing, and walking
  • sleeping in a position where the channel is supported
  • doing exercises to help keep your neck strong

However, home remedies do not permanently relieve pain. Some people will need medical treatment to relieve their neck pain. The exact treatment will depend on whether or not an underlying condition is causing the pain.

A doctor might try the following additional treatments:

  • prescribe muscle relaxants
  • inject medication directly into the neck
  • physical or occupational therapy
  • surgery

Also read : The Importance of Mental Health: Tips for Taking Care of It

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