Stiff Neck – Cause And Relief

Have you ever woke up to a stiff neck before? That uncomfortable and tight feeling that makes movement almost impossible and causing you a lot of discomfort throughout the entire day. Stiff neck are frequently experienced by many and it will usually go away by itself after a few days. You may rest assure that stiff neck is not an indication of any serious problems with your neck.

A stiff neck is typically characterized by difficulty moving the neck, especially when trying to turn the head to the side. It may also be accompanied by a headache, neck pain, shoulder pain or arm pain. In order to look sideways an individual may need to turn the entire body instead of the stiff neck. Most people are familiar with the pain of a stiff neck. In most cases, pain and stiffness go away naturally within a week.

If a stiff neck has not improved after a week, it should be checked by a doctor. Also, regardless of how long it has lasted, a stiff neck accompanied by fever, headache, nausea or unexplained sleepiness should be treated by a medical professional immediately.

Causes of Stiff Neck

Injury

Injuries are one of the most common reasons that one will experience stiff neck. A sudden jerking movement at the neck region can injure the muscles and ligaments, causing injury and subsequent pain and stiffness. Injuries can be caused by sports, accidental falls or even a car accident.

Stress

Our body response to stress is the natural tensing of our muscles. If you did not suffer any injuries recently and is experiencing stiff neck, it could be an indication that you are under tremendous stress. It’s time to take things easy and relax.

Muscle spasm

Muscle spasm are due to the signalling of certain messages from our nerves to the muscles which will result in them involuntary contracting, causing stiff neck.

Improper sleeping posture

Improper sleeping posture is probably the most common reason for stiff neck. Our body is in a relaxed state when we are asleep and an improper sleeping posture can cause the pulling of the neck muscles without us being aware of it. Only when we finally wake up do we realise it and it is often too late.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that targets the joints, especially those in the neck. It will result in neck pain and stiffness.

Meningitis

Meningitis is a very serious inflection of the fluid that surrounds our brain and spinal cord and if you suffer from neck pain and stiffness and they are not caused by the factors listed above, you should consult a doctor immediately as a stiff neck is a common symptom of meningitis.

 

Diagnosis of Stiff Neck

Your doctor will take a medical history and do an exam. He or she will check for tenderness, numbness and muscle weakness, as well as see how far you can move your head forward, backward and side to side.

Imaging tests

Your doctor might order imaging tests to get a better picture of the cause of your stiff neck. Examples include:

  • X-rays can reveal areas in your neck where your nerves or spinal cord might be pinched by bone spurs or other degenerative changes.
  • CT scans combine X-ray images taken from many different directions to produce detailed cross-sectional views of the internal structures of your neck.
  • MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create detailed images of bones and soft tissues, including the spinal cord and the nerves coming from the spinal cord.

It’s possible to have X-ray or MRI evidence of structural problems in your neck without having symptoms. Imaging studies are best used as an adjunct to a careful history and physical exam to determine the cause of your pain.

 

Treatment Regime for Stiff Neck

An individual can do several things to begin treating a stiff neck. Some common self-care strategies include:

  • Rest. Taking it easy for one or two days gives injured tissues a chance to begin to heal, which in turn will help relieve stiffness and possible muscle spasm. For example, someone who swims may want to avoid certain swim strokes that involve lots of head twisting for a few days. However, it is recommended to limit rest to one or two days, as too much inactivity can lead to a weakening of the muscles, and weak muscles have to struggle to adequately support the neck and head.
  • Cold and/or heat therapy. Cold therapy/ice packs help relieve most types of neck stiffness by reducing local inflammation. Applying ice during the first 24 to 48 hours of a painful flare-up usually has the most benefit in terms of reducing inflammation. Applying heat to the neck can spur blood flow, which fosters a better healing environment. Some patients prefer ice, whereas others prefer heat. Both may be used alternately.
  • Over-the-counter medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which work by reducing inflammation, are typically a first line of treatment for neck stiffness and soreness. Even non prescription medications have risks, possible side effects, and drug interactions, so be sure to discuss any medications with a doctor.
  • Gentle stretching. Stretching, as soon as tolerated, helps ease the stiffness and restore the neck to a more natural range of motion. For many, it is a good idea to learn appropriate stretches with the help of a physical therapist.
  • Low-impact aerobic exercise. Stretching or any form of low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, is often helpful in relieving any type of stiffness. Even if walking does not directly involve the neck, it helps circulate oxygen to the soft tissues throughout the spine, which in turn promotes healing.

 

Stiff Neck Treatment in Singapore

You can contact us for counselling regarding stiff neck treatment. We are closely working with more than 35 Insurance companies for cashless payments. We are an Accredited Specialist Clinic. E-filing facility is also available at our clinic.

What is Total Ankle Arthroplasty (Total Ankle Replacement)?

Suffering from pain when you’re trying to move can lead to less movement on your part. When you’re trying to stay in shape, get in shape, or just keep mobile, pain can put a stop to all of those. Ankle pain can cause you to not want to leave your home or being reduce to having to have assistance when walking. Pain from arthritis can most times be tolerated but when it progresses it can leave you dealing with more pain than you can handle.

How can you deal with this type of pain? How can you keep living life as you want to live it pain free and on your terms? There is a procedure called a total ankle arthroplasty that can offer some light at the end of your tunnel. Discover what this total ankle replacement is and who it might help.

What is a Total Ankle Replacement?

Total Ankle Arthroplasty, or commonly known as TAA, is a total replacement of the ankle joint area. This is used when there is significant arthritis in the joint due to age or sometimes a previous injury such as breaking the ankle. When you’re suffering from arthritis in the ankle, it can lead to deformation of the joint area, pain, and loss of cartilage.

The procedure is performed by an orthopedic surgeon and the entire goal of this process is to allow you to walk and move your ankle with no pain and better movement. The surgeon will inform you on when it is best to have the procedure for your specific case. Not all cases are alike and some may benefit from this total ankle replacement while others may need to put the surgery off.

There are some cases where TAA is not recommended such as those who have had infections in the joint area, neuropathy in the lower limbs, or in cases where dead bone is attached to the ankle area. These would not be good viable cases for the TAA as an option.

What Happens After Surgery?

After you have the total ankle replacement surgery, you’ll have a time where you do not need to put weight on the ankle. This will allow the ankle to completely heal and the joint to set in place as it should. You should use crutches to assist you in walking and keeping off the foot as much as you can. You’ll probably be placed in a type of cast or boot to help keep it stable and in place.

Talk with your orthopedic surgeon to find out if you’re the perfect candidate for total ankle arthroplasty today and get back to living life on your terms.

What is Knee Arthroscopy? – Procedure & Benefits

If you suffer from knee pain or have had an injury to the knee, your doctor may suggest knee arthroscopy to see what is going on. This procedure is an evaluation of the knee without making a large incision. It will permit your doctor to see exactly what is going on in your knee and what is causing your pain without a huge invasive procedure being done. Your doctor may suggest this less invasive procedure if you have torn a meniscus, have inflamed tissue that needs removed, have an infection in the knee, or if you have kneecap issues that can be repaired.

How Does It Work?

Very tiny incisions are made into the knee where your surgeon can insert the arthroscope to see what is injured or going on in the knee. This camera will portray pictures on the monitor your doctor is watching to let them see exactly what may be causing your knee ailments at the time.

During the procedure, your doctor may repair problems they find through other tiny incisions in the knee. There are special tools they can use that do not require the larger incisions of most surgeries that are performed. Your knee can be repaired while you’re in the procedure during the knee arthroscopy and it can help you heal faster.

Benefits

There are many benefits to having a knee arthroscopy done instead of major surgery. One of the major benefits is this is less invasive than most other knee surgeries out there. There are only tiny incisions made so the scarring is also reduced.  This also keeps the infection risk down as the incisions are smaller, and you do not have a huge wound to recover from.

Using knee arthroscopy also helps to reduce the recovery time that is needed after knee surgery. If your knee has been completely opened or replaced, your recovery time will be much longer than with this procedure. You can typically return to normal activities within six weeks of this procedure and only be restricted from driving for about one to three weeks depending on the severity.

You will still experience some pain as you have had a surgical procedure done. Your doctor may prescribe something for pain and also for inflammation to keep the swelling down. You’ll also be taught how to care for your wound before you leave the hospital and how to dress it as well.

All in all, this procedure is a much better route to take, if possible, when you are experiencing injuries or knee problems.

Should I Have Bunion Surgery? – Pros and Cons

When it comes to everyday life your feet play a huge role. They take you from one place to the next, help you get where you need to go, and enjoy life playing sports, hanging out with friends and family, and just in general taking care of you. What happens you’re dealing with the pain of bunions or even embarrassment of the problem? Suffering with bunions on your feet can be painful and make it hard to enjoy everyday life activities that you so want to take part in.

There’s a variety of bunion treatment options and bunion surgery is one of them. Some people opt to have the surgery so they can wear their favorite shoes or sandals again, and to get rid of the pain. Others tend to wait until it’s the only option left before choosing bunion surgery as their treatment option. Here is a look at the benefits and disadvantages of having the surgery on your feet.

Pros

One of the main benefits to having bunion surgery is the relief of pain. Bunions can cause quite a bit of pain in your feet and make it impossible to enjoy your favorite activities such as walking or jogging. By having the corrective procedure, your pain can be a thing of the past. It also means you can become more active as the pain may have stopped you from exercising or moving.

Another benefit to the surgery option is that you will be more comfortable with the look of your foot. As bunions can become quite large, some people feel ashamed to wear sandals or shoes that shoe their feet. By having the surgery, you can start to enjoy your shoes again.

One other benefit to this type of bunion treatment is that you can get the best results with surgery. When you work with a surgeon who specializes in this treatment, you can get the most efficient treatment of your bunions.

Cons

While there are many benefits to this bunion treatment, you should also consider the downsides. There can be reoccurrences of the bunion a year or so down the road. It may come back in the future. You will experience some pain after the surgery still as it takes time to heal the foot completely. It can limit the shoes you wear during the healing process and even after it depending on the type of shoe you are trying to wear.

Of course, as in any surgery, you can have trouble in walking afterwards as your body tries to heal. There’s also a slight chance that the correction will not work or be successful.

Be sure to weigh all the pros and cons with your medical practitioner to make sure that bunion surgery is your best option.

Jumper’s Knee (Patellar Tendonitis): Symptoms & Treatments

Whether you like to run for sport or just for fun, there is an injury that accounts for just less than 5% of all running injuries. Patellar Tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, is an injury to the patellar tendon that connects you knee to your tibia bone. This area takes on a huge load in any type of running or jumping movements and it can become injured quite quickly. This typically happens in men more than women but both are susceptible to this type of injury.

Symptoms

There are a few different stages of jumper’s knee and depending on what stage you’re in will determine the symptoms you are showing. The first stage of patellar tendonitis is classified as pain after a certain exercise or movement. There is no true stopping of movement in this stage, just pain in the knee once the activity is finished.

Those who are in stage two of the injury will deal with pain both after and during the activity they are participating in. In stage three, however, the pain is all the time and the activities that can be participated in are limited. The final stage of this injure is a tendon rupture and that requires the use of surgery to repair the knee injury.

Treatment Options

For those who are dealing with stage one of jumper’s knee, simple ice therapy typically does the trick. Make sure to use ice packs or even ice massage after the activity to help reduce inflammation and pain. Those in stage two will typically have physical therapy due to the pain interrupting normal everyday life. They may lose sleep because of the pain and by working with a physical therapist they can reduce the pain and get back to normalcy.

Those who have reached a stage three injury should also work with the treatments above while adding in significant rest. This can be a period of three to six weeks depending on the injury and how physical therapy is working. You can also take prescription medication in any of these stages to help relieve pain if your doctor has prescribed it.

Strengthening exercises and being careful about alternating your exercise regimen can help to prevent these patellar tendonitis injuries. They can cause severe pain in any level of the injury and it is imperative not to push your body too far. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you’re experiencing continuous pain during or after activity to rule out jumper’s knee.

 

Scapula (Shoulder Blade) Fractures: Treatment & Management

It is very uncommon to suffer from scapula fractures but it does happen. This can be due to a major trauma or other events but usually results in shoulder pain and treatment being needed. They typically occur in less than 1% of the population but do still happen from time to time. The most common age group that suffers from shoulder blade fractures are young men between the ages of 25 and 45. This is basically because of the types of activities and events that age group participates in.

Causes

A shoulder blade fracture can be caused by different traumatic events. An automobile accident is one such event that can cause your shoulder pain and to fracture the scapula. Another common cause of this injury is a fall that pertains to direct impact on the shoulder. This could be an example of falling off a ladder and onto your shoulder, or falling from a height that ends in landing on your shoulder itself. This could also result in direct injuries from a baseball bat or even an impact from a hammer.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a scapula fracture can include one holding their arm close to the body to reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation, and the inability to use the arm. If moving the arm increases the pain, this may mean that you have a shoulder fracture.

Treatment Options

Most of the time shoulder blade fractures do not require surgery for treatment. In some severe cases, surgery will be required but this is not the norm. Typically ice and anti-inflammatory medications are used to help reduce swelling and the shoulder pain that is associated with this injury. Your shoulder may also be immobilized in a sling for up to four weeks or more depending on the severity of the injury. This keeps you from moving the shoulder and potentially reinjuring it before it is properly healed. Physical therapy may also be needed to help in rebuilding the mobility after the injury has taken place.

While most times shoulder blade fractures are easily treated, they need to be seen by a medical doctor before letting them go. This is because most often a shoulder fracture has been caused by a very traumatic injury. This could also be a sign that other injuries have taken place in the body that you may not be aware of. Always have a medical examination after a fall or injury such as a car accident to rule out any life-threatening injury.

Biceps Tendinitis: Cause, Symptom & Treatment

When it comes to lifting, moving, writing, and doing everyday chores, your biceps go through a lot of movement. If you’re doing too much you can begin to notice biceps pain start to creep in and you may think it’s just overuse of your muscles. However, it is important to know that your biceps can be injured through lifting heavier than normal objects, overusing the muscle or other ways. One of the injuries you can develop is called biceps tendinitis. Discover below what biceps tendinitis treatment is available and how you can tell if that is what you have going on.

Causes

The main cause of tendinitis is due to overuse of the bicep muscle. This could be because you’re a baseball player, you lift heavy objects on a daily basis or you love to swim. You can have this show up in your bicep, elbow or shoulder. It is generally caused by the repetitive motions being done over and over by your arm. So if you have a job that is a repetitive movement, or if your favorite sport does the same, you can have a cause of tendonitis start to show up.

Symptoms

You may have biceps pain start in one or both of your arms depending on which arm is affected. Pain is generally located in the shoulder or elbow and not in both places at the same time. You may notice a sharp pain if you have a tear in the tendon or even bruising and swelling. You may also notice pain during movement that has caused the problem in the first place. If you have torn the tendon, then you may require surgery to fix the problem.

Treatment Options

There are a few different options for biceps tendinitis treatment. You can start with ice packs on the affected area. This can help to reduce any inflammation in the joint or bicep area that is causing the pain. You can also take an over the counter anti-inflammatory to help make sure it reduces inflammation and the pain. Resting the arm that is hurting is also highly advised. Try to take some time off of the activity that caused the pain so that your arm can rest and heal.

Biceps pain can be quite difficult to deal with, especially when it starts to affect your daily life. Be sure to take preventative measures if you have a repetitive job or task done each day. Change up your routine and get plenty of rest to make sure you don’t injure your arm further.

4 Ways to Protect Ankle from Sprain

If you’ve ever had a sprained ankle you know just how painful they can be. Sometimes they can feel as if you’ve broken bones or torn ligaments but all you’ve done is twisted, or sprained, the ankle severely. Once your ankle sprain has finally healed, you may be susceptible to reinjuring the ankle if you do not take a few precautions. Here are four ways you can protect your ankle from reinjuring it after you’ve healed from the ankle sprain itself.

Wear a Brace

If it’s only been a few weeks since you hurt your ankle, wearing a brace for a month or two while you’re exercising is a good idea. It will help to support the ankle during vigorous activity that might otherwise reinjure you. The semi-rigid type brace is best for right after you’ve injured yourself and you’re healed. It will offer the necessary support and protection during running, walking and other exercise. There are also other wraps and braces you can use to support your ankle during the time of gaining your strength back such as air filled or lace braces.

Balance Work

Work on balancing on your foot that you injured. By practicing balancing exercises on that leg it helps to strengthen the leg and ankle to protect it from injury. Start out by only balancing on the leg for around 30 seconds or so. You can slowly increase this time as you gain more strength in the muscles. This should be done no less than three times a day and can be done more if you’re ankle is holding up to it.

Heel Raises

You should also perform heel raises to help strengthen the ankle. You can do these from a seated position or you can do them standing. Just as with the balance work, start by doing the heel raises and stretches for at least 30 seconds at a time and increase to three minutes or more as you gradually hold it longer.

Other Exercises

Other types of exercises you can use to help prevent an ankle sprain are toe raises, ankle circles and using steps to gain strength back in the ankle that was injured. You can also practice in and out motions where you turn your ankle as far in as you can and hold then turn it back out and hold. Adding in resistance to the in and out motion can also help you build strength back in the joint and ligaments.

These are just a few ways to help you gain strength and protect yourself from having another sprained ankle.

Elderly Hip Fracture: Top 4 Symptoms & Prevention Tips

Growing older comes with its own set of dangers and precautions that need to be taken to ensure that you avoid a variety of problems that could arise. As you age, your bones may become weaker and not be able to handle a fall or trip as they once could. One of the major causes for concern is a hip fracture in elderly generations. The hip fracture itself can lead to many other problems due to the inability to move it well and being down and out for a while to recover. Here are the top four symptoms of a hip fracture and a few prevention tips to protect you or your loved one.

Can Not Move

After your loved one or yourself has taken a fall, you may not be able to move right away. That can be a sure sign that your hip has fractured during the tumble. It may be very difficult or even impossible for you to get back up on your own.

Pain and Bruising

Another sure sign of a hip fracture is the severe pain that may be felt in your hip or groin area. This can be quite excruciating and can make it very difficult to function. You may also notice bruising and swelling in the hip area as well. Your loved one may feel a lot of stiffness as well in the hip area if they have fractured their hip.

Not Able to Put Weight on the Leg

If you’re dealing with a hip fracture in elderly loved ones, you may notice they cannot put weight on the leg that the hip is fractured on. They may try but cannot succeed as there is just too much pain in that joint area.

Outward Turning or Shorter Leg

You may notice that the leg on the injured side is turned outwards toward the foot in a way that is not natural for it to be. There also may be signs of one leg being shorter than the other when there is a hip fracture present.

Prevention Tips

A fractured hip in the elderly can be quite dangerous so there are a few prevention tips that should be taken into consideration. Be sure to always have assistance around if they have trouble standing or sitting down. Make sure that if there are rugs or carpets in the areas that your loved ones frequent that they are tacked down or remove them if possible. Be sure that the pathways and walkways are clear of items that could cause tripping. Do not have wheels on any of the chairs they use and be sure there is a chair or safety rails/handles in bathrooms. These items can help to prevent a very dangerous situation.

Common Cause of Overuse Injuries: Prevention & Treatment

Sports are a great way to keep active and healthy throughout your entire life. One concern with playing a variety sports are the common overuse injuries or even stress fractures. There are many different injuries that can come about from using the same muscles over and over, but there are ways to prevent them as well. Take a look at some of the most common overuse injuries and how you can avoid or treat them if you fall victim.

Going Farther Than You Actually Can

When it comes to a new exercise program or sports adventure, you must be realistic on what you are capable of handling. Most common injuries come about due to the inability to admit you can only go so far with your new activity. Start slow and make sure to take your time in pushing yourself. If you push yourself too far too fast you can end up with stress fractures or pulled muscles and ligaments.

Know The Correct Form

When you are learning a new sport or exercise, it is important that you use the correct form at all times. Work with a professional or seasoned trainer in the specific sport you’re trying to learn. This will help you to learn the correct form before you start making bad habits in the way you play or perform the move. Bad form can cause a variety of overuse injuries in your body when you do not learn the right way to perform the sport or move beforehand.

Preventing and Treating These Injuries

To treat an overuse injury, you want to make sure to start cutting back on the practice during your time of being injured. Be sure to warm-up properly during every exercise or workout. Ice down the injury so that you can help to reduce any inflammation that may be present and be sure to get plenty of rest. You may also find that anti-inflammatory medications will help during treatment as well.

To prevent these common overuse injuries from happening in the first place, be sure you learn the proper form before you start an exercise or program. Make sure your shoes are worn in but also offer the proper support for the activity you’re about to do. Remember you do not have to be the fastest at the program right away. Learn the proper technique from the get go and take it easy to ensure you have it right. All of these tips can help you to prevent injures such as stress fractures from happening to you and taking you out of the game.