Our neck consists of vertebrae, which are located from the base of the skull to the shoulder girdle. Bones, ligaments and muscles hold the head and provide motor function. Careless actions, injuries, inflammations can cause pain in the neck. Let us examine the situation when the neck is pinched: what to do and how to help yourself.
Stiff neck: how to live on?
Many people experience pain or any other discomfort in the neck area. Quite often, poor posture is the culprit. Often the pain in the neck is caused by damage from falling, as well as during the occupation of contact sports, pathologies of the cervical spine.
As a rule, pain in the neck is not considered a serious disease. But sometimes they are a sign of a dangerous injury or illness and require medical intervention. If the duration of the painful sensations is more than a week, consultation of the doctor is necessary.
Determine the causes of pinching
Pain in the neck or muscle stiffness may appear for various reasons. Let's consider them. One of the common causes of pinching the neck is muscle strain and deformity in them. The following factors lead to this condition:
- problems with posture;
- staying in a sitting position for a long period without changing posture;
- sleeping in an uncomfortable position for the neck;
- sudden movements of the neck.
The neck is often injured:
- after unsuccessful falls;
- as a result of an accident;
- when playing sports.
Athletes are especially susceptible to neck injuries when muscles and ligaments are forced to go beyond their own nominal functionality.
Diseases and age changes
Cervical spondylosis is a disease of the spine with a characteristic formation of bone spine-like growths that compress the nerve roots and cause pain. Also, as a result of changes in the cervical discs, the distance between the vertebrae is narrowed, which is fraught with their exit from the site and the formation of a hernia. Stenosis may develop - a narrowing of the spinal canal and the invasion of bone and cartilage structures into the space occupied by the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Also distinguish such diseases that lead to pinching of the nerves in the neck:
- Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures.
- Fibromyalgia is a condition with characteristic pain in the muscles.
- Meningitis is an inflammation of the serous tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. One of its manifestations is stiff neck. It is accompanied by severe headache and fever. Meningitis is a deadly disease that requires immediate medical attention.
If the pain in the neck is accompanied by symptoms of a heart attack, such as pain in the chest, hands, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, it is urgent to call an ambulance. Sometimes the stiffness of the neck muscles and the accompanying pain syndrome are caused by congenital anomalies, as well as complications after infections and abscesses, the development of tumors.
If you are faced with a pinching of the neck, when there is not even an opportunity to turn your head, then the answer to the question of what to do will be treatment at the hospital. Especially in the case of a previous injury. If the pain is minor, then you can try to try to help yourself at home:
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as "Ibuprofen".
- For a few days to abandon sports. It is necessary to enter the normal mode of training slowly as the symptoms ease.
- Perform neck exercises every day. Slowly stretch the muscles by tilting the head to the sides, back and forth.
- Watch for good posture.
- Avoid holding the telephone receiver between the neck and shoulder.
- Change the position of the body more often. You can not stand or sit in one position for too long.
- Make a light neck massage.
- Use a special pillow to relax your neck. This is an effective means of preventing neck pinching after sleep.
- Do not use a neck bandage without a doctor's appointment, as this may aggravate the problem.
When should a doctor help?
If the symptoms last for more than a week, then a diagnosis - a pinched nerve in the neck and thinking about what to do to correct the situation should be made by a specialist. You should also contact the doctor if there are also such signs during pinching:
- severe pain in the neck for no apparent reason;
- swelling in the neck;
- swollen glands;
- nausea and vomiting;
- difficulty in swallowing or breathing;
- numbness and tingling;
- inability to move arms or legs;
- soreness of the upper and lower limbs;
- the inability to touch the chin to the chest;
- bladder or bowel dysfunction.
You must be prepared to provide the doctor with information about the symptoms, already taken medications and supplements, as well as information about recent injuries, accidents, even if they do not seem important to you, and there is no visible connection between them and pain.
Depending on the diagnosis, the treatment of pinching and neck pain may include the use of such methods:
- ice and thermotherapy;
- physical therapy;
- corticosteroid injections;
- neck brace;
- antibiotics with the participation of infections;
- inpatient treatment for the diagnosis of serious diseases - meningitis, heart attack, etc .;
- surgical intervention (quite rare);
- alternative methods - acupuncture, manual therapy, massage.
Knowledge of what to do if a neck is pinched does not exempt from a real assessment of the situation, taking into account all possible risks of wrong actions and mistakes when independently determining the causes of the occurrence of painful manifestations. Often we need a weighted analysis of a specialist, based on research results, and the appointment of adequate treatment. Do not be ill!