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Old 12-09-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
Types of Neck Pain and How to Fix It
Edu777 Edu777 is offline 12-09-2013, 06:49 PM

Types of Neck Pain and How to Fix It

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is usually a repetitive stress injury, meaning that repeatedly placing stress on the disc in a harmful way eventually causes it to give way and tear. Excessive repeated forward bending of the neck and heavy lifting with improper positioning of the neck are two of the main causes.

When the outer disc tissue, similar to a ligament, is torn, the inner tissue, which is more gelatinous, presses on the spinal cord or a nerve root, causing neck pain, arm pain, weakness and numbness.

When a disc is significantly herniated, there is no quick fix. Even small movements, such as turning and looking down, are painful from the neck down the arm. Sneezing is unbearable. Sleep is nearly impossible. Don’t even think about playing football or doing a mobility workout. With this injury, “working out” is putting on a shirt.

Massage by a licensed massage therapist, traction, dry needling, anti-inflammatory medication and steroids are all elements in the process of correcting the acute phase of herniated disc pain.

Crick in the Neck

A “crick,” or impinged facet, is when the joint is inflamed, either from stress, poor posture or an awkward sleep position.

With a crick in the neck, it is difficult to turn the head to one side. The problem is usually an impinged facet joint, the bony connection between the vertebrae above and below. This joint is enclosed in a capsule. When your neck pops, the facet joint undergoes a quick pressure change with a release of endogenous opiates and an almost immediate release of pressure, improved movement and a euphoric feeling.

Many times a “quick fix” for a crick in the neck is skilled mobilization to unlock the joint—moving rather than stretching it—by a therapist or chiropractor. Often the mobilization is away from the site of pain. Studies have shown a reduction in neck pain by mobilizing the middle spine.

Postural Stress

Postural stress is exaggerated by keeping your head down, your hands in front and your upper back in a constant stretch. Amateur body builders encourage it by focusing their energy in the weight room only on the “mirror muscles” (the pecs, anterior delts, biceps and abs) without balancing the work on the posterior chain.

Musculature on the front side of the body has the potential to pull the neck forward. Overtraining the pecs and anterior deltoids, and spending inordinate amounts of time on a phone or computer, looking down, places negative stress on the neck. If you have to be on a computer a lot, make sure your desk and chair are at a good height so you’re not hunched over.

Also try stretching.

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