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. So what are some of the causes of stiff neck and what measures can you take to relief it?

Causes:

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.

Treatment:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and paracetamol can help to relief the pain associated with neck stiffness.

Ice or Heat pack

Using either an ice pack or a heat pack can help to relief the pain. Ice pack will help to bring down the swelling and reduce inflammation while a heat pack will help to expand the muscles, allowing them to relax and reduce the stiffness, bringing relief to you.

Proper neck support pillow

A proper neck support pillow is slightly more expensive compared to normal ones but they ensure that your neck is properly rested and aligned when you sleep, reducing the chances of you suffering from stiff neck due to improper posture.

Above are some of the common causes of neck pain and stiffness and some ways that can help to relief them. Neck pain and stiffness will cause us a lot of discomfort and make us look funny in front of others so take care of it.

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Repair Injury

A rotator cuff tear is a common injury suffered by many and it causes pain and disability among adults. It will not only weaken your shoulder but will also hinder your day to day activities, such as wearing your clothes, brushing your teeth and combing your hair. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that are joined together, surrounding the front, back and top of your shoulder joint connected to each other. When one or more muscles are torn, the tendons are detached from the humerus and they start to fray. As time passes, the tendon can entirely tear either on its own or during activities that exert huge load on the shoulders.

The most common symptom experienced by many is aching at the top and front of the shoulder. The pain is significantly higher when the arm is lifted overhead. Often, the patient is unable to have a good rest at night as the pain gets worse at night. Some patients may experience weakness in the injured arm and in a worst case scenario; the entire arm cannot be lifted at all.

When patients experience inability to lift their arm above their shoulder, it is normally due to their supraspinatus tendon rubbing against the under portion of their shoulder blade known as the Acromium. It can be acute and it can also be a gradual pain depending on the initial injury. Swelling and inflammation will be observed and the muscles in the rotator cuff will be weakened as a result.

Overuse of the shoulder causes bursitis or tendonitis which is also known as impingement. Impingement will cause the tissues below the acromioclavicular joint to be rubbing against the bone, causing irritation and pain. Normally the doctor will prescribe pain killers or cortisone injections. However if all fails, an arthroscopic acromioplasty or shoulder acromioplasty will be carried out.

As the surface of our acromion can be mis-shaped, bone spurs might develop. By jutting further down when the tendons are, it will cause much pain too the patient in the injured shoulder. The surgeon can reshape the acromion through arthroscopy, a minimal invasive surgery method or through open shoulder surgery.

Gentle exercises to obtain back full range of motion will start the day after the surgery and patients are advised to stop using the arm sling in the shortest possible time. The sutures will be removed a week after surgery and strengthening exercise will be taught to them. It will take approximately 3 months for the shoulder to recover fully.

4 Types of Shoulder Tendonitis Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Our shoulder is a very complex joint that is used in almost every action. As a result, one of the most common problems is shoulder tendonitis. The joints are stabilitsed by a group of muscles called the rotator cuffs and when it gets inflamed, it gets further irritated by the many structures around it.

It is extremely important to attend to tendonitis as soon as you can to minimize long term pain. Plenty of rest and care will lessen the stress on the shoulder joints and allow it to heal.

1) R.I.C.E

Rest: Stop whatever activity that is causing that pain in the shoulder immediately. The shoulders will need to be rested for a minimum of 3 weeks and failure to comply with it would risk irregular repair of the injured tendon and that could possibly lead to more serious complications and possibly long term pain. Stop aggravating the injury!

Ice: Apply ice immediately on the injured site as ice itself is anti-inflammatory. Ice is able to reduce the inflammation in the tendons. Apply ice regularly every 4 to 6 hours for 15 to 20 minutes and it will help to bring down the swelling.

Compression: Compression through the usage of a simple bandage reduces swelling caused by the inflamed tendon. Wrap the bandage firm and tight but there must be sufficient room for blood flow and expansion of muscles when they contract.

Elevation: Keep the injured tendon above the heart level so as to reduce blood flow and reduce pain and swelling. It reduces edema and also helps to rid waste from the area, allowing a faster healing rate.

2) Anti-inflammatory drugs:

Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, ibuprofen or naproxen is used to reduce pain and inflammation of the tendon. These are basic treatments and can only provide a temporary relief.

3) Injection:

Localised injection has a high success rate of 70% and usually contains 2 medications, one to numb the shoulder and the other an anti-inflammation drug. The combination works quickly to reduce inflammation and pain. After the injection, it is required to rest for at least 48 hours.

4) Posterior stretching:

Often people with rotator cuff injuries have tight ligaments. This tightness can contribute to further movement abnormalities and pain in the shoulder.

Reach for the injured arm across the body at chest level, pull the arm closer to the body and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat this throughout the entire day, doing once every 15 minutes.

Lying on the back, extend both arms forward and towards the ceiling. Bend the elbows and hold the wrist of the injured shoulder with the left hand. Pushing the right arm down, you should be able to feel a strain on the shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 8 to 12 repetitions.

Top 8 Whiplash Symptoms and Treatment

Whiplash is an injury to the neck which is often cause by an unexpected increase in acceleration or deceleration force. This injury does damages to both the soft tissues and the bone structures of the neck.

Some doctor will refer a much more severe injury of whiplash as “whiplash associated disorders”. Most commonly, this injury occurs when someone met with an accident.

In this article, let us look at what are the top ten symptoms of whiplash injury.

  1. 1)     Neck Pain and stiffness

Once you are experiencing prolong neck pain or stiffness, it is likely that you might have been a whiplash injury.

  1. 2)     Insomnia

This is a common symptom as when you are face with whiplash injury, there will be higher tendency of not being able to sleep.

  1. 3)     Giddiness

There will be a higher tendency to feel dizzy once you have injured your neck.

  • 4)     Shoulder Pain

Most of the time you will experience a tight shoulder in when you’re facing the pain.

  • 5)     Anger

As you struggle with the symptoms of whiplash injuries, small little things that are happening around will anger you easily.

  • 6)     Social Isolation

Most of time you will tend to isolate yourself from the people around you. However, try opening up to the people you’re close to. That will make you feel better.

  • 7)     Blurred Vision

When facing whiplash injury, this is one symptom that is very prominent and something that you have to take high regards of it. If this symptom gets worsened, you may need to seek an orthopedic doctor for consultation.

  • 8)     Spasms in your muscles

This is a symptom that will only occur once in awhile. When facing with this symptom, try to take a short break from whatever you are doing.

Treatment

The initial treatment of whiplash is to insert a soft cervical collar to help reduce the range of motion of the neck. This is so that the neck can be protected from any potential future injuries.

After the initial treatment, the patient can participate in physical therapy to increase neck muscles after the removal of the cervical collar. This will further decrease the pain.

However, if the patient happened to manifest psychological symptoms such as rage and nervousness after the injury, it would be advisable to seek medical attention of the emotional illness.

Nevertheless, the process of recovering should be looked into by an orthopedics. The patient should never proceed on any form of treatment without going through a proper consultation with a doctor.