How to Treat Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common occurrence. One night of bad sleep, long hours at a desk job, sitting in traffic – these are all things that can cause neck pain. Dr. Kevin McIntyre of Burlington Sports Therapy describes some different treatments for alleviating pain in the neck. Here’s an excerpt of the article:

“When you stretch your neck, does it really help?  For many people, sitting at the work station makes their neck and shoulders very stiff and sore.  The obvious thing to do is to stretch the area.  Unfortunately for most people, stretching this area feels good for a few minutes but the pain doesn’t really change in the long-term.  Have you tried strengthening?”

Read the full article to learn more about strengthening the neck and other neck pain treatment. You can also check out some of our neck braces and cervical collars which can help support the neck when recovering from injury.

What is Whiplash?

You may have heard of whiplash being a common cause of neck injury, but what exactly is it? Dr. Kevin McIntyre of Burlington Sports Therapy helps describe whiplash and some of the symptoms that come along with it. Here is an excerpt:

“Whiplash is a common injury affecting people involved in a car accident. In fact, whiplash is the most common traffic injury affecting approximately 83% of those people involved in a motor vehicle accident. For some, the condition resolves quickly. For others (10% according to the literature), whiplash can turn into chronic neck pain. According to some literature, some risk factors for developing chronic neck pain after whiplash have been identified. They are as follows…”

Check out the full article and learn more about whiplash. It’s important to see your doctor if you are experiencing neck pain or soreness, especially after a traumatic injury. If you’ve been diagnosed with whiplash, your doctor may recommend a cervical collar to help provide support to the neck and to help the area heal.

When to Use a Neck Brace

Neck braces, also known as cervical collars, are used to immobilize the head and neck. Typically they are used in three situations:

  • To Relieve Pain – The neck brace helps support the weight of the head while the tissues in the neck have a chance to recover.
  • After Neck Surgery – A cervical collar keeps the spinal bones aligned correctly while the neck heals.
  • After an Accident – If a patient injures his or her neck, a medical professional may use a neck collar to prevent any further injury.

Cervical neck collars are commonly used for neck injuries, such as whiplash. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck, and is also known as a neck sprain. It’s often a result of car accidents where the head is thrown forward suddenly, straining the muscles in the neck. After serious car accidents, victims are often placed in a neck collar for precautionary measures. If you experience head or neck pain, check with your doctor to determine the source of your symptoms before using a neck brace.

Herniated Disk Injury and Prevention

Herniated disk, also known as slipped disk, occurs when all or part of a disk in the spine presses against nearby nerves. This can cause tingling, aches, and severe pain. Herniated disk injuries are one of the most common problems that 30-year old people have. In fact, according to the Indiana Spine Group, almost 250,000 herniated disks are repaired each year.

Most herniated disks occur in the back. Wearing a back brace for herniated disk can help prevent injury by providing compression and stability. Sometimes herniated disks can occur in the neck, such as in Colts quarterback Payton Manning. Typically after a herniated disk injury in the neck, patients will wear a cervical collar to stabilize the area while it heals.

In addition to wearing a back brace, practice proper lifting techniques at work and at home. You can also ask your doctor for ways to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles.

How to Improve Bad Posture

Did you know that many shoulder and neck injuries are a result of bad posture? Poor posture can cause back and neck pain, headaches, and shoulder and arm pain. It can affect individuals who work in an office, professional athletes, or pretty much anyone.

A recent article reported that Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson’s shoulder injury may be a result of bad posture. Now he’s standing straighter and even wearing a customized shirt that keeps his shoulders back.

Here are some ways to prevent back and shoulder pain resulting from poor posture:

  • Switch to an ergonomic chair in areas such as your office where you will have long periods of sitting.
  • Take frequent short breaks and walks.
  • Stand taller, with your shoulders back. In short, be aware of your posture and correct it.
  • Wear a posture support which can help you maintain correct positioning in your upper back.

Any person can have poor posture, but it is especially common among taller individuals and those who work at desk jobs. If you are at risk, speak with your doctor about ways to improve your posture.