Although neck strain is not considered as a serious injury, the resulting pain can hamper a person’s ability to perform even the simplest of tasks.
The anatomy of the neck provides it with the ability to support a high degree of motion and mobility while also providing ample support for the head. However, the neck’s anatomy also makes it prone to injuries.
Neck strain, in particular, may be caused by different activities that put unnecessary strain on the neck. These activities may include: taking a particular position for a long time that puts the neck in an awkward position; lying on a pillow that is too high or too firm; lifting heavy objects on only one side of the body, and whiplash, which may come as a result of a car accident or falls. Neck strain is quite common and it is highly likely that you will experience it or have experienced it at some point in the past.
These activities often result in a stiff neck and shoulder pain which can hamper movement. Fortunately, these problems often heal quickly, between one and two days.
If you are suffering from acute neck pain, here are some tips on neck pain care New York City professionals recommend.
Applying an ice pack to the area can reduce inflammation and facilitate healing. Ice should be applied for 20 minutes at a time for the initial 24 hours.
Heat from wraps or a hot bath or shower can facilitate healing by encouraging the flow of nutrient-rich blood to the affected area.
In conjunction with the application of ice packs and heat, over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce inflammation. Pain relievers like acetaminophen, on the other hand, can effectively reduce pain.
More often than not, these neck pain self-care tips are sufficient for managing the pain and discomfort experienced by a person. However, there are specific instances wherein the patient should immediately see a professional.
First, if the neck pain is caused by an accident, a healthcare professional should be immediately consulted to determine the extent of the injury and give the necessary treatment.
If the neck pain is attributed to poor posture or the use of pillows, and the pain and discomfort lingers beyond two days, the patient should see a professional.
Finally, if the patient experiences other symptoms like numbness, tingling or pain in the arm, a healthcare professional should be immediately consulted. When in doubt, always seek professional advice.