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Neck Pains

Where do you feel neck pain?

In the pathologies of the neck spine, pain can spread from neck to the head, back, chest and arms. Sometimes there may be pain on the heart or back that may cause a doubt of heart attack.

Do other symptoms accompany the pain?

Neck pain is often accompanied by symptoms such as stiffness, numbness, tingling, blurred vision, tinnitus, balance disorder, dizziness and palpitations. If the involvement is prolonged, it is caused by an inflammatory rheumatism. Symptoms such as numbness and tingling are indicative of nerve root compression. Blurred vision, tinnitus, dizziness, balance disorder, palpitations and nausea that occur with neck movements are rare symptoms in neck pathologies.

How prevalent is neck pain?

About 10% of adult people suffer from neck pain at some time in their lives. Neck pain may be localized only to the neck or may be accompanied by arm pain. One-third of neck and arm pain recur. The frequency of neck pain is less than low back pain. And they cause less disability.

What are the causes of neck pain?

Numerous disorders cause neck pain. The main causes of neck pain are: congenital anomalies, tumors, trauma, osteoporosis, degenerative disorders (such as calcification, neck hernia), infectious lesions (such as tuberculosis, brucellosis), soft tissue rheumatism, thoracic outlet syndromes, inflammation rheumatism (such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis), psychological disorders, pain reflected by internal organs (as a result of diseases of the heart, lung and gallbladder).

Is neck pain frequent after the traffic accidents?

One of the most affected areas in our body during traffic accidents is the neck. While direct traumas can be fatal or disabling, neck is affected without a direct impact in traffic accidents. Whiplash syndrome, which is usually seen in traffic accidents, occurs as a result of the neck going forward and back in the form of a whip without direct trauma to the head. If there is pre-calcification, the trauma causes more damage. Whiplash syndrome has mild dislocations and subsequent calcification. Treatment includes resting, corseting, painkillers and muscle relaxants, exercises and physical therapy.

What is neck strain? How is it treated?

It is a clinical condition characterized by local pain and stiffness in the neck caused by traumas and poor posture. Unusual movements, sporting activities, typing, keeping the neck in a fixed position for a long time during the activities such as reading, watching television in bed, inappropriate pillow and bed can cause cervical strain. The normal backward curvature of the neck is flattened due to muscle spasm. The movements are painful and limited. Radiological examinations are usually normal. It is thought that pathology is in the soft tissue and degenerative changes are in the initial stage. Cervical strain may improve with short-term rest, but may require painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants. Physical therapy is very useful in reducing pain and muscle spasm. To prevent recurrence, poor posture should be corrected and muscle strengthening exercises should be given.

What is cervical spondylosis?

It is the clinical picture that occurs due to the degeneration of the structures that make up the cervical spine, including nerve and vascular disorders. It is also named as cervical arthrosis.

What are the causes of cervical spondylosis?

Aging, tensions of the daily life, neck movements and positions, macro and micro traumas and mental stresses are factors for the deterioration of the structure and feeding of the disc and eventually degeneration of the disc to varying degrees. Inheritance, childhood infections and immune system disorders may also be factors that cause disc degeneration.

What are the symptoms of cervical spondylosis?

Symptoms can be seen from the age of 18 and the frequency increases with age. After the age of 50, it becomes very clear. The main signs and symptoms are neck pain, stiffness, muscle spasm, tenderness and limitation of movement. Pain can also spread from head to neck. Morning stiffness due to spondylosis is short term. Mostly it takes a few minutes. When there is compression of the nerve root, pain, numbness, tingling, cold or warm sensation spreading to the arm and needling occurs. Spinal cord compression may cause difficulty in walking. When the veins from the neck to the brain remain under compression, dizziness, tinnitus, blurred vision, and headache occur.

Which tests are used in the diagnosis of neck pains?

Imaging methods (plain radiography, computed tomography, MRI, ultrasonography), scintigraphy, electrophysiological methods (EMG) and laboratory tests are used.

Isn’t it possible to diagnose without X-Ray and MRI?

The place of radiological imaging methods in neck spine examination is indisputable. However, it should be known that radiological findings and clinical findings are not always related, and the primary importance is examination and evaluation conducted by the physician. MRI, which is an advanced examination alone, is of little value unless directed by the physician. Diagnosing by MRI alone is wrong.

How is cervical spondylosis treated?

Most patients with cervical spondylosis recover with conservative (without surgery) treatment. More successful results are obtained in a shorter time than the waist.

Treatment of acute painful period includes rest, corset, superficial heat and medications. The cervical corset may be used to maintain the rest of the cervical spine, to limit its movements and to reduce the weight of the head on the neck. To prevent atrophy when corseted, exercise should be started without losing time. Local injections which are administered into painful areas may help to heal pain and spasm. In subacute and chronic period, deep heaters are applied along with superficial heaters. Heat facilitates tissue nutrition and excretion of metabolic residues by vasodilatation and increasing blood flow. Thus, it reduces muscle spasm and pain on the one hand and delays recurrences by initiating the tissue repair process. Heat increases the elasticity of fibrous tissues and increases the effect of traction and patient tolerance to traction when applied together. The analgesic and trophic effects of low frequency currents such as TENS, diadynamic treatment, galvanic and exponential flow are utilized in both acute and chronic pain patients. Although it is not a common treatment in patients with neck pain, massage alleviates painful muscle spasm, increases circulation, mobilizes contractures and adhesions and gives the patient psychological comfort. Dramatic recovery can be achieved by manual therapy. Exercises should be done during the hours when the patient feels the best. These are usually morning hours. Warming up before the exercise, giving muscle relaxants and analgesic drugs help to better tolerate the exercise. In addition to physical therapy, the patient should be trained to prevent recurrences. Patient education includes posture and daily living activities.

How is cervical disc hernia treated?

95% of hernia occurring in the spine is seen in the waist and 3-4% in the neck. The patient often complains of sudden onset of neck and arm pain. Numbness and tingling may be present with pain. Pain is exacerbated by neck movements, coughing and sneezing. Neck hernia treatment begins with corset, local injection, medicine and exercise. Physical therapy is applied to patients whose complaints do not disappear.

What is thoracic outlet syndrome?

The area where the vascular nerve pack leading to the arm travels under the armpit in the neck and chest area is called the thoracic outlet. Structural or functional anomalies in this area may cause pressure on the vascular nerve bundle, resulting in clinical cases under the heading of thoracic outlet syndromes. The patient complains of pain, numbness and tingling in his arm, hand and fingers. Patients with thoracic outlet syndrome often benefit from physical therapy. Surgical intervention is indicated for patients who do not benefit from physical therapy.

How do you prevent or get rid of neck pain?

  • •Sit straight and walk upright.
  • •While seated, support your low back and neck. While working, stay in neutral position without bending your head or lifting your head excessively and sitting close to the desk and countertop.
  • •Do not watch TV while you are lying down on sofa.
  • •Adjust the computer screen aligned with your eye level. Do not stay for a long time on the computer.
  • •Pillow should not be very high or very low. While you are lying on your back, fill the gap behind your neck with pillow. While you are lying on your side, pull the pillow to the root of your neck.
  • •Do not lie on your stomach.
  • •Do not keep your neck in the same position for a long time. Do light neck exercises every 20-25 minutes.
  • •Try to keep your neck and back muscles loose.
  • •Exercise regularly.

Which exercises should be done for neck pain? How frequent should they be done?

Exercises in the neck pain are done depending on the person. Under the guidance of physician, exercises are repeated ten times in mornings and evenings. Each exercise lasts until you count until ten. You should rest after each exercise by counting until twenty. If you have pain during or after the exercise, you should consult the physician.