The neck, also known as the cervical spine, is a coordinated network of bones, nerves, joints and muscles. It performs the important role of providing support and mobility to the head. Any abnormality, injury or inflammation in any part of this network can strain the neck and cause neck pain. A fairly common condition, 20% to 70% of adults experience neck pain that interferes with their daily activities.
Risk Factors of Neck Pain
a) External Factors
- Poor Posture: Most people spend a lot of time hunched over a computer or a phone for extended periods. As the head is held forward in a bad posture, it increases the strain on the cervical spine to support the increasing weight. As a result, the muscles become more susceptible to painful spasms and strains. About 24% of young IT professionals complain of neck pain. Around 75% of adults suffer from neck pain due to poor posture.
- Injury:Sudden jerking of the head (whiplash), falls, rear-end auto collisions and sports can at times force the muscles and ligaments of the neck to move outside their normal range. This can sprain the soft tissues of the neck, eventually leading to neck ache.
- Cervical Spondylosis:It refers to the wear and tear of the spinal disks in the neck. It often develops as a result of changes in your neck joints as you age. However, there can be other causes like injury, overuse, ligament stiffness, bone overgrowths and herniated or dehydrated spinal discs. The symptoms typically include neck pain and stiffness. In severe cases, it can lead to tingling, numbness and weakness in your arms, hands, legs or feet.
- Traumatic Disk Herniation:Spinal discs are rubbery pads between the vertebrae (bones that make up the spinal column) that act as shock absorbers for the spine. A traumatic disk herniation occurs when the soft, jellylike centre of a spinal disk pushes through a tear in the outer surface of the disc. Degeneration, accidents, whiplash, lifting a heavy object incorrectly and so on can put too much pressure on the disk, causing it to herniate. This can cause severe cervical pain.
- Osteoporosis:Calcium is a vital mineral for the body to build strong bones and teeth. It is essential for proper functioning of the muscles. When you don’t get enough calcium, you increase your risk of developing disorders like osteoporosis, wherein your bones become fragile. It can cause compression fractures of the spine. These fractures can be extremely painful because the collapsed vertebrae may pinch the nerves that radiate out from the spinal cord. The pain experienced can range from minor tenderness to debilitating pain.
b) Underlying Factors
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints. It can cause severe muscular and joint pain. Chronic inflammation in the neck leads to the destruction of the synovial joints, which allow movement. When arthritis damages this joint in the neck, the cervical spine can become unstable. This can cause symptoms like swelling, numbness and tingling around the neck that radiates up the back of the head.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis: A form of arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis can cause flares of burning pain in the spine. It typically develops in the lower back and hips but gradually progresses up towards the neck. It causes inflammation in the cervical spine which can lead to muscular pain and stiffness in the neck. In a more serious condition, ankylosing spondylitis can cause postural changes which can also contribute to neck pain.
- Psoriatic Arthritis:It is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints. About one in four people suffering from psoriatic arthritis experience pain and stiffness in the neck. The condition doesn’t always damage the vertebrae in your neck. But you may experience difficulty in turning your head without pain.
- Fibromyalgia:It is a chronic rheumatic condition that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness throughout the body. It is often accompanied with fatigue and mental health conditions like mood disorders. While the severity and symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary greatly, neck pain and stiffness are commonly experienced.
- Oseteomyelitis:It is an infection of the bone. Infections can reach a bone by moving through the bloodstream or spreading from a nearby tissue. Infections can also begin in the bone itself if an injury exposes the bone to germs. Although the condition is rare, patients with cervical osteomyelitis are most likely to develop catastrophic neurologic deficits and paralysis.
- Meningitis:Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord. The swelling typically triggers symptoms such as fever, headache and a stiff neck.
What if the Patient is Left Untreated?
- He/she may develop Vertigo.
- He/she may experience movement restriction.
- It may lead to degeneration of intervertebral discs.
- The pain may radiate to shoulders, head and arms.
- Long term use of pain killers can cause depression, addiction and loss of brain matter.
- Constant pain can affect the quality of life. It can trigger depression and irritability, which can affect personal and professional life.
Importance of Homeopathy Treatment and its Benefits
Homeopathy offers a natural and safe medium to treat your paining neck. Homeopathic medicines are made from natural ingredients. Hence, they are free from possible side-effects which one may encounter with long-term conventional treatment. Homeopathic treatment does not suppress the symptoms to provide temporary relief. Rather, homeopathic remedies go to the root cause of your neck pain and treat it to ensure long-term relief. It also takes into account the underlying problems that may be contributing to your neck pain. Thus, you can experience holistic healing through homeopathy.
A comparative study was published in the journal of Sarada Krishna Homoeopathic Medical College on pain management of cervical spondylosis with only homoeopathic medicine and homoeopathic medicine combined with physiotherapy. The results were as mentioned below:
Among 30 cases where only homoeopathic remedy was administered, at the end of the 14th day -
- 1 (3.33%) patient showed marked improvement
- 12 (40%) patients had moderate improvement
- 16 (53.33%) patients had mild improvement
Among 30 cases where homoeopathic remedy along with physiotherapy was administered -
- 21 (70%) patients showed marked improvement
- 3 (10%) patients had moderate improvement
- 3 (10%) patients had mild improvement
Why Dr Batra's™?
For the past 35 years, Dr Batra's™ has brought relief to patients suffering from different ailments through the safe and trusted means of homeopathy, that too with a 91% success rate. Our team of expert homeopathic doctors take into account the unique symptoms, causes and triggers of your ailment to bring to you a customised homeopathic treatment to suit your specific needs.