What Is Neck Pain
Neck pain is the worst kind of overachiever. Its so common that its the fourth-leading cause of disability globally, following ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and lower respiratory infection. Nearly 30 percent experience it each year.
And its not always centralized in the neck. It can radiate across your whole upper body, affecting your shoulders, arms and chest and can even cause headaches. Living with neck pain can be miserable, making it hard to focus and get through the day.
Neck pain can be debilitating and may interfere with day-to-day life, including your ability to sleep, feel productive, and enjoy time with friends and family. And it affects more than just your physical body. Studies have shown that chronic pain can have an impact on a persons mental health up to 85 percent of patients with chronic pain are affected by severe depression.
How Do You Relieve Neck And Shoulder Pain
The treatment for relieving your neck and shoulder pain is ultimately shaped by the cause of your pain. Always be sure to follow your doctors orders to ensure successful pain relief and healing.
Some neck and shoulder pain treatment can be done from home, while other methods should be performed with a medical provider. Neck and shoulder treatments include:
Lets look at these in more detail.
How To Get Rid Of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is common, especially among athletes and people who engage in physically demanding activities and tasks. Though its not life-threatening, it can affect a persons quality of life, especially if its not treated and occurs for a long time. Prolonged shoulder pain can also be associated with expensive medical costs. Treatment for shoulder problems in the U.S. amounted to $7 billion in the year 2000.
In this article, well explain what shoulder pain is, the different types, its causes, and what treatments are available.
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How Does The Shoulder Work
Your shoulders each have two joints, making them the most flexible parts of your body.
The main shoulder joint the glenohumeral is a ball-and-socket joint. Its called this because the top of the upper arm bone the humerus is shaped like a ball. This ball fits into the shoulder blade bone, which acts as the socket, giving your shoulder a wide range of movement.
But, the shoulder socket is very small, compared to other ball-and-socket joints, such as the hip. Its held together and controlled by a covering of muscles, which are secured to the bones by strong cords called tendons.
These muscles and tendons form a capsule around the joint and support its movements, but can make it more likely to dislocate than other joints.
Inside the capsule is the synovium, which produces fluid that lubricates the joint and keeps the cartilage healthy. The cartilage helps protect your bones from any impact and sits between the bones of your shoulder joints to stop them rubbing together.
Above the main shoulder joint theres a smaller joint where the top of the shoulder blade the acromion meets the collar bone.
This is known as the acromioclavicular joint. It helps the larger joint below to move through its full range, particularly when youre raising your arm, lifting or throwing.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Shoulder Osteoarthritis
As with most types of osteoarthritis, pain is a key symptom. A person with shoulder arthritis is likely to have pain while moving the shoulder and after moving the shoulder. The person can even have pain while sleeping.
Another symptom may be a limited range of motion. This limitation can be seen when you are trying to move your arm. It can also be evident if someone is moving your arm to assess range of motion. Moving the shoulder might also produce a clicking or creaking noise.
Is Osteoarthritis In The Shoulder Considered A Disability
The Social Security Administration does consider shoulder osteoarthritis a disability in qualifying individuals. Youd have to experience significant functional challenges that keep you from performing your work to qualify.
Ask a doctor if they think youd be a likely candidate for disability due to the state of your shoulder arthritis.
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Physiotherapy Treatment In Arthritis Of Neck
Conservative and natural care helps numerous neck arthritis sufferers control their pain and slow the progression of the disease. samples of natural treatments are:
Physical therapy is generally the first nonsurgical treatment that your doctor will recommend. Specific exercises can help relieve pain, and also as strengthen and stretch weakened or strained muscles. In some cases, physiotherapy may include posture therapy or the application of traction to gently stretch the joints and muscles of your neck. physiotherapy programs vary in length but commonly last from 6 to 8 weeks. Typically, sessions are scheduled 2 to three times per week.
Ways To Treat Neck Pain At Home
In addition to medical treatments, consider:
- Exercise. When your disease isnât active, get moving â just donât overdo it. In moderation, it can reduce your pain, help with movement, make you feel less tired, and itâs just a good thing to do for overall health. Your local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation may offer water exercise and other kinds of classes specifically for people with arthritis.
- Ice packs. The next time you need to reduce swelling and pain, go to your freezer and grab a bag of frozen peas or corn â these aids conform easily to the neck area.
- Not smoking. If you smoke, find a way to stop. The chance of complications from RA increases if you smoke, as do your odds of developing osteoporosis.
- Warm baths. Besides helping with sleep, a warm bath can soothe achy joints and relax muscle tension.
- Herbal remedies. If youâre looking for natural relief, turmeric, the common kitchen spice, is known to be an anti-inflammatory and may reduce neck pain caused by inflammation. Boswellia is another natural pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties.
- Yoga exercise. This ancient practice, which involves stretches, poses, and meditation, is not only a great exercise, but it also relieves stress and neck pain by reducing tension.
- Massage. Have your partner or a professional gently massage your neck where it hurts, for temporary relief.
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How Should I Sleep With Shoulder Arthritis
This answer depends upon the position you prefer to sleep in.
- Sleeping on your side. If you sleep on your side, you should lie on your unaffected shoulder and place a thick pillow under the arm of your affected shoulder. This pillow helps to elevate your arm and lower pressure.
- Sleeping on your back. If you sleep on your back, you should place a pillow under each arm. You could also consider sleeping with a wedge-type pillow that supports your upper body.
Neck Pain: Related Conditions
Neck pain is common among those who are 50 or older. âBut I have children who come into my office with neck pain,â says Robin Lustig, DC, CCSP, of New Jersey Total Health in Lodi, N.J.
Other common causes of neck pain include:
Pinched nerve. This occurs when too much pressure is placed on a nerve by surrounding tissue. The pain from a pinched nerve in your neck can radiate into your shoulders, arms, or back. When you have a pinched nerve, you may also feel numbness or tingling in the area.
Injury or trauma such as a car accident or a fall. Injury or trauma to the neck can have long-lasting effects and cause arthritis years later, Dr. Lustig says.
A stiff neck. This is when itâs painful or difficult to move your neck from side to side. âA stiff neck can be caused by sleeping on your stomach in a funny position for a long time or from a muscle that went into spasm,â Lustig says.
Cervical myelopathy. This condition occurs when the spinal cord channel in the back of your neck narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord, which can result in neck pain and numbness or weakness in your hands, arms, legs, and feet.
Shoulder arthritis. âPeople often develop shoulder arthritis where there is wear and tear or overuse,â Lustig says. The pain from shoulder arthritis can radiate into the neck.
Poor posture. If you sit hunched over your computer all day or hold the phone with your neck while youâre working at your computer, your neck can hurt at the end of the day.
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Symptoms Of Neck Arthritis
What are the most common Symptoms of Neck Arthritis? Since the neck and shoulder are connected they are sometimes tied together in a neck ache. Here are the most common symptoms of Neck Arthritis:
- Headache or Fever
- Feeling Tired or Lethargic
If you are experiencing any of the above cervical arthritis symptoms along with neck pain, then you will want to treat it immediately by using exercises for arthritis in the neck pain, neck arthritis remedies and a natural neck arthritis treatment which are all shown below.
Injections For Osteoarthritis In The Shoulder
Injections into your shoulder joint are a less invasive approach when compared with surgery . Examples of injections include:
- Platelet-rich plasma injections.This injection approach involves using a special preparation of your blood plasma and injecting it into your shoulder joint. Ideally, platelet-rich plasma injections help stimulate the healing of damaged tissue in your shoulder.
- Hyaluronic acid injections.Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the synovial fluids in your body. Injecting lab-made hyaluronic acid may help to improve your use of and movement in your shoulder.
- Corticosteroids.Corticosteroids are a synthetic form of cortisol, a hormone your body naturally produces. A doctor may inject corticosteroids directly into your shoulder to lower the inflammation.
A doctor will also consider your overall pain and movement capabilities. If you have severe pain or severely restricted movement, injections may not be enough.
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Spinal Arthritis Causes And Risk Factors
The causes of arthritis in the back or neck vary depending on the type of arthritis you have. Besides normal wear and tear and autoimmune triggers, in many cases the exact cause remains unknown. Genetic components have been identified in connection with some forms of spinal arthritis, meaning that it may be hereditary.
Other spinal arthritis risk factors include:
Presence of certain conditions such as diabetes, gout, psoriasis, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome and Lyme disease
How Are Bone Spurs In The Neck Diagnosed
To diagnose a bone spur in the neck, a doctor will first perform a physical exam. They may ask you questions about any symptoms you have and test the range of motion of your neck. A bone spur on the neck may be confirmed via imaging tests, such as:
- magnetic resonance imaging
The tests can also help diagnose underlying causes, such as OA.
Your doctor may also recommend an electroconductive test to help detect nerve injuries in your spinal cord. Blood testing may also be ordered to rule out the possibility of other underlying diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment for bone spurs depends on the severity of your symptoms and overall condition.
More mild cases may be treated with one or more of the following options:
- physical therapy to increase range of motion
- massage therapy to help manage pain
In more severe cases where symptoms dont respond to therapy and medication, a doctor may recommend cervical spine surgery.
The type of surgery for neck bone spurs will vary based on the underlying cause and location some examples include:
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Causes And Risk Factors
The cause of osteoarthritis is not known. Some factors that increase the risk of osteoarthritis in the shoulder include:
- Past injury to the shoulder
- Overuse of the shoulder, such as while working or playing sports
- Family history of osteoarthritis
Nonsurgical treatments of osteoarthritis include:
- Resting the shoulder and avoiding certain movements
- Physical therapy exercises, which can sometimes help with range of movement in cases of mild arthritis
- Anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to reduce swelling
- An injection of corticosteroid medication into the shoulder, which can be helpful for some patients
If nonsurgical treatment doesnt relieve the pain of arthritis in your shoulder, your doctor may recommend one of a number of shoulder surgery options:
Pulled Neck Muscle Same As A Neck Strain
A pulled neck muscle is a common term for a simple neck strain, involving the muscles and tendons that support and move the neck and head. There are four primary reasons the cervical spine is so susceptible to develop a strained or pulled muscle in neck:
- The bones of the neck are the smallest of the spine, offering the least stability and support.
- The muscles of the neck are long and thin, and do not have the bulk found in other areas of the spine making them proportionately weaker than they need to be to hold the head up.
- The weight of the head sitting at the top of spine presents a mechanical disadvantage. With this heavy weight at the top of the thin neck, it takes a lot of effort to hold the head up during the course of the day and nearly impossible during a violent impact.
- The neck is a structure designed to offer flexibility that allows the head to turn rapidly through a large range of motion. But this flexibility adds to the vulnerability of the neck to injury and the ease of misalignment during trauma. A small amount of spinal misalignment can cause a pinched nerve in the neck that can cause pain, numbness, tingling and other health problems. This is why the neck can be strained while simply staying in an awkward posture for a prolonged time.
A neck strain or pulled muscle in neck tissue by definition is usually not a serious injury, even though it can cause a great amount of neck pain.
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Working With Neck Pain
Overall, getting back to work sooner rather than later is helpful for most people. In the past, people were advised to rest up in bed, but we now realise that it does more harm than good. Its much better to keep moving, even if you need to take some painkillers to allow you to do so.
Most people are able to return to work within 23 days, although this varies from person to person and depends on the type of job you do.
You dont need to wait until your neck problem has gone. In many cases, the longer youre off work the more likely you are to develop longer-term problems and the less likely you are to return to work.
Its important to keep in contact with your employer and discuss what can be done to help you return to work. If your work involves physically demanding tasks, you might find it useful to work shorter hours or move to more desk-based duties for a couple of weeks.
If you have an occupational health adviser at your workplace, they can help advise what work you are fit to do and arrange any simple adjustments to help you to cope. If you are having difficulties travelling to or from work or need an item of equipment, the Governments Access to Work Scheme might be able to help.
If you are unable to get back to work after two weeks of absence because of your neck pain, you should talk to your doctor and employer about getting physiotherapy or other treatments that can get you moving again.
Natural Treatment For Shoulder Pain Relief
As far as minor shoulder pain is concerned, you can effectively manage or even treat the problem at home, too. There are several remedies, simple exercises, and certain lifestyle changes that can help you shake off that shoulder ache and keep you safe from falling victim to it again.
However, it is advisable to consult a doctor if the symptoms seem to be worsening.
Here are some home remedies for shoulder pain.
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What Is Shoulder Arthritis
Shoulder arthritis is inflammation in your shoulder joint. The inflammation causes pain and stiffness. It makes lifting your arm uncomfortable.
The main joint of your shoulder is a ball and socket joint. Its where the ball of your upper arm rests against the socket, or hollowed-out cup, on the edge of your shoulder blade . This joint is called the glenohumeral joint.
Shoulder arthritis can also happen at a second joint in your shoulder where your collarbone meets the acromion on your shoulder blade. This joint is called the acromioclavicular joint or AC joint.
Over time, arthritis leads to cartilage loss. Cartilage is the tissue that covers the humeral head and the socket of your shoulder joint. Cartilage allows the bone surfaces to glide within the joint. It also cushions your bones against impact.
In the end stage of shoulder arthritis, without protective cartilage, bones in the joint rub directly against each other.