Physical discomfort that affects the back, or column of the spine to be specific, is generally described as back pain (or backache). Back pain is one of the most prevalent medical problems, estimated to affect 50-80 percent of all individuals at some point in one’s life. It’s the main cause of disability among adults and the second most frequently cited reason for missing work behind the common cold.
Neck pain is the pain associated with the neck and the adjoining areas. Inflammation, injury, or any abnormalities could cause neck stiffness or pain. Neck pain and stiffness is a relatively common issue but one that cannot be ignored.
Poor posture hurts because it strains the muscles in the neck region and causes tension. Besides staying glued to a mobile device, bad posture can also be due to:
- Working for too long at a desk and not changing position.
- Wrong neck position while sleeping.
- Exerting too much or unnecessary pressure on the neck while training.
- Gritting your teeth or reading in bed.
The neck is quite a flexible part of the human body. It is also relatively defenseless against injuries – particularly the ones caused due to auto accidents, physical sports, etc.
When an external force hits your neck, its ligaments and muscles get pushed into abnormality. Things truly turn scary when the cervical vertebrae (neck bones) are ruptured in the process. Damaged bones in the neck could cause spinal cord damage.
Rear-end car collisions usually lead to whiplash injury, caused due to the backward and forward jerking of the head. The sudden movement of the head strains the neck’s soft tissues.
Specific Medical Conditions
Besides a heart attack, a few other medical conditions could have caused your neck pain.
- Meningitis or the inflammation of the tissue surrounding your spinal cord and brain can be a cause. The neck grows stiff in individuals who have meningitis. A headache and fever also tag along.
- Rheumatoid arthritis can affect your neck, causing pain as a result.
- Osteoporosis, the bone-weakening disorder, could also hurt your neck and cause pain.
- Fibromyalgia can cause muscle pain in your shoulder and neck region.
- Spondylosis or the degenerating of cervical discs with age could reduce the vertebrae area, causing neck pain and stress in the joints.
- Due to an injury or trauma, a disk protrusion could add some pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord, causing neck pain in the process. Referred to as herniated cervical disk, the condition is also called a slipped or ruptured disk.
- Spinal stenosis can also cause pain in the neck. The condition is essentially the spinal column’s narrowing, causing pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord as it leaves the vertebrae. Spinal stenosis could be the result of chronic inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis.
In a few other instances, neck pain or stiffness could be caused by congenital abnormalities, abscesses, infections, tumors, or even spine cancer.
And at times, you could feel severe pain in the neck without any of the aforementioned underlying conditions to show. It would have been due to age-related wear and tear. Neck joints, in other words, wear down with time.
Headaches and Migraines
Most migraine headaches last around four hours. The severe types, however, could stick around for days. People who are vulnerable to or have a history of migraine attacks usually get at least a couple of such headaches a month. Some, however, may not be troubled as much and would feel the pain only one or two times a year.
Headaches and migraines manifest differently in different people. The symptoms of headaches vary based on the kind of headache:
- Tension Headache: Symptoms include neck stiffness, scalp tenderness, dull and aching pain in the head, shoulder stiffness, and pressure or tightness across the forehead. Though tension headaches could feel like a migraine attack, they do not cause the visual issues migraine headaches are pretty much identified with.
- Cluster headache: A cluster headache is generally short-lived and causes pain behind or near the eyes. The constant, throbbing pain is typically on one side of the head. A cluster headache, unlike a migraine, is not accompanied by nausea.
- Migraine headache: Migraine symptoms usually are a pulsating sensation in the head, pain on a particular side, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, vomiting, and throbbing pain.
- Rebound headache: This headache type is more routine and particularly bad during the mornings. The symptoms attached to a rebound headache include nausea, irritability, restlessness, memory issues, etc.
It’s not that easy to ascertain the kind of headache you experience. A trained professional should guide you in the matter and let you know more about your condition.
The causes of headaches and migraines are not established and could vary between individuals. Generally, it’s believed the pain is linked with brain-related changes and genes. Migraine triggers such as sensitivity to bright lights, fatigue, etc., could also get passed down to you by your parents.
The blood flow alterations in the brain were believed to cause migraine headaches. It’s now considered the change in blood flow is only correlated and not causal.
Current theories suggest migraine kicks in when the brain’s overactive nerve cells transmit signals that trigger the trigeminal nerve, causing sensations in the face and head. This prompts the body to release serotonin and CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) and a few other chemicals.
CGRP causes the blood vessels in the brain’s lining to swell. The neurotransmitters then cause pain and inflammation.
Millions of people in America and globally get migraine attacks or headaches daily. The following factors increase the likelihood of being affected by the condition:
- People who fall in the 10 to 40 years age group are more likely to experience migraine attacks.
- Family history plays a significant role. At least 80% of people troubled by migraines have a parent or family member with the issue. If a parent has had or currently experiences a migraine attack, their kid has a 50% likelihood of inheriting the condition. If both the parents suffer from migraines, the chances go up to 75%.
- Medical conditions such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, epilepsy, etc., could heighten the odds.
Besides the aforementioned hormonal changes, stress, certain foods and drinks (aged cheese, alcohol, tobacco, food additives, etc.), caffeine, weather changes, sleeping patterns, etc., could ascertain the risks or function as triggers.
Physical therapy is a specialized healthcare discipline focusing on enhancing movement, functionality, and overall well-being. Utilizing exercises, manual therapy, and education, it aims to alleviate pain, restore mobility, and improve physical strength.
PTs assess individuals' conditions, design personalized treatment plans, and guide rehabilitation after injuries, surgeries, or chronic conditions. Their expertise extends to diverse areas like orthopedics, neurology, sports medicine, and pediatrics. By fostering independence and optimizing quality of life, physical therapists facilitate recovery, prevent disabilities, and promote a holistic approach to health. Through tailored interventions and patient education, they empower individuals to regain function, adapt to limitations, and embrace an active lifestyle.
Individuals seek physical therapy for various reasons, including recovering from injuries, surgeries, or accidents. It aids in reducing pain, restoring mobility, and improving strength, essential after trauma or illness. PT addresses chronic conditions like arthritis or neurological disorders, enhancing daily function and quality of life. Athletes utilize it for performance enhancement, injury prevention, and rehabilitation. PT fosters recovery from sports-related injuries, ensuring safe return to activities. Moreover, it aids in managing age-related issues, promoting balance, flexibility, and independence for older adults. Overall, physical therapy offers personalized care, empowering individuals to heal, regain abilities, and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
CBP® Technique emphasizes optimal posture and spinal alignment as the primary goals of chiropractic care while simultaneously documenting improvements in pain and functional based outcomes. The uniqueness of CBP® treatment is in structural rehabilitation of the spine and posture.
- Center of mass of head, rib cage & pelvis vertically aligned in Front and Side views.
- Front view: vertical alignment
- Side View: Harrison Ideal or Average Spinal Model
- Improved Range of Motion and quality of movement,
- Improved muscle strength,
- Neck disability index
- Oswestry low back index,
- SF 36 or Health Status Questionnaire