Why Do We Experience Neck Pain During Cold Weather
The most common cause of neck pain during cold weather happens when we get sick. Cold weather often means a higher risk of catching a common cold, flu viruses, or in worse casesmeningitis. Our lymph nodes or glands become swollen and tender anytime our body fights a virus or other infections. Swollen lymph nodes can give us a stiff neck, and you might even feel the lumps in your neckwhich can feel a bit weird. But it’s just a sign that your body is fighting off an infection. If you’re experiencing other symptoms aside from neck pain, seek professional medical advice. Meningitis usually causes neck pain with fever, nausea, vomiting, confusion, headaches, and fatigue. If you aren’t feeling any of these symptoms, keep reading cause it’s probably something else.
Johnson is preparing for his first season of IndyCar racing after 20 years in NASCAR. The design of the car – less than 50% the weight of a stock car, open-wheeled – means Johnson will be driving faster than ever. The course design will add to the magnitude of gravitational forces he experiences on turn, and the number of times his body experiences a surge in G’s. And because IndyCar’s do not have power steering the way NASCAR vehicles do, he will face greater demands on his arms and shoulders.
What Is The Cervical Spine
The cervical spine is the neck region of your spinal column. It’s made up of seven small, highly mobile bones, and their associated ligaments, muscles, and shock-absorbing discs.
Anything that aggravates or comes into contact with your spinal nerve roots can lead to radiculopathy, and that includes several common conditions in which growths or abnormalities cause something to invade the space of the nerve root.
- Herniated disc: The shock-absorbing discs between vertebrae can become damaged and may develop a bulge and/or leak fluid.
- Synovial cyst: These lumps are caused by a buildup of joint fluid that forms a sac.
- Bone spur: An extra bit of bone forms in response to damage or chronic inflammation.
- Cervical spondylosis : This condition involves the formation of bone spurs in the neck.
- Spinal stenosis: An advanced stage of spinal arthritis, stenosis occurs when the spaces in the spine become narrowed, usually due to excess bone growth.
- Degenerative disc disease : Discs between vertebrae erode and fray over time, which may cause a herniated disc. In cases of severe degeneration, bone-on-bone contact can cause bone spurs in the joint.
When To Call The Doctor
- Symptoms do not go away in 1 week with self-care
- You have numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or hand
- Your neck pain was caused by a fall, blow, or injury, if you cannot move your arm or hand, have someone call 911
- The pain gets worse when you lie down or wakes you up at night
- Your pain is so severe that you cannot get comfortable
- You lose control over urination or bowel movements
- You have trouble walking and balancing
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How Is Neck And Arm Pain Diagnosed
A medical history, coupled with a physical examination can give Dr. Ahuja a good background of your symptoms. Imaging, such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging , or a computed tomography scans may be necessary to help visualize the vertebrae in your neck and spine.
Dr. Ahuja and staff perform radiological procedures at The Brain and Spine Imaging Center, our state-of-the-art imaging facility in Franklin, Wisconsin.
Build Bone Density In The Femoral Neck
Now that we have dealt with the question regarding osteoporosis neck pain, are there things that you can do to increase your the bone density in the femoral neck . What life and exercise modifications should you do to reduce your risk of a femoral neck fracture especially if you practice yoga? The video below explains some steps you can take:
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Osteoarthritis In The Neck
Osteoarthritis in the neck is the degeneration of joints, vertebrae, and discs in the cervical portion of the spine. With less padding between them, vertebrae may rub against each other. That can cause tiny bone fragments to break off and float in the synovial fluid .
Sometimes this process stimulates the growth of bony projections along the edges called bone spurs, or osteophytes. Since the padding is now thinner, the vertebrae become closer to each other. That leaves less room for the spine nerves that stick out from the spinal cord.
Symptoms of neck osteoarthritis range from none to pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Osteoarthritis in the neck pain tends to worsen after activity. Complications such as loss of coordination can happen if the spinal cord becomes pinched.
Simple Things To Help
Increase postural strength: Bring shoulder blades together and down towards your waist while keeping shoulders away from your ears. This will help strengthen the muscles around your shoulder blade and help improve neck and head placement.
Improve ergonomics at computer: While sitting at the computer, the top two lines should be at eye level. If they are not, try bringing your computer screen up. The chair that you sit in should have a support at your low back to allow you sit upright. The chair should have an arm rest. If your legs are too short to reach the floor, a stool is nice to keep pressure off of the back of the legs .
Stretching to improve flexibility: Here is a link to show some stretching and strengthening for the neck region
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What Are The Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of neck pain may be stiffness, tightness, aching, burning or stabbing or shooting pains, pressure, or tingling. Muscles can feel sore or tense in the neck, face, or shoulders. Muscles can spasm when they go into a state of extreme contraction . Movement may be restricted â perhaps you cannot turn your head. If nerves are involved, pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness may develop in your shoulders, arms or hands.
Several situations signal the need for prompt medical attention. If nerve compression is severe, symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling in the arms or legs, loss of bladder or bowel control, or loss of strength and problems with coordination.
Neck pain along with a severe headache, fever, or nausea could be a sign of infection or a bleed in the brain. If your neck is so stiff that you can’t touch your chin to chest, seek medical help immediately.
Safe Neck Exercise Answer
This is a great question. It is a good thing that this fitness professional is being cautious. Here is my response:
Several years ago the same question was asked to me by Osteoporosis Canada. Since there is no research in this area I forwarded the question to several Physical Therapists who have done extensive research in the area of Osteoporosis and Exercise.
The overall opinion was that neck flexion was safe to do. I will often give my clients semi-circles to do from shoulder to shoulder which incorporates the flexion movement.
Exercises that encourage flexion of the back should be avoided particularly by people with osteoporosis. Neck exercises and neck stretches that promote flexibility are safe for people with osteoporosis.
In Exercise for Better Bones, I cover a wide range of exercises that improve flexibility and those that improve posture. Below are two stretching exercises that are safe exercises for osteoporosis.
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What Conditions May Require Neck Surgery
Not all causes of neck pain require surgery. However, there are some conditions where surgery may ultimately be the best option, especially if less invasive treatments werent effective.
Conditions that may require surgery are often the result of an injury or age-related degenerative changes, like osteoarthritis.
Injuries and degenerative changes can cause herniated disks and bone spurs to form in your neck. This can place pressure on your nerves or spinal cord, leading to symptoms like pain, numbness, or weakness.
Some of the most common neck conditions that may require surgery include the following:
- A pinched nerve : With this condition, excess pressure is placed on one of the nerve roots in your neck.
- Spinal cord compression : With this condition, the spinal cord becomes compressed or irritated. Some common causes include osteoarthritis, scoliosis, or an injury to the neck.
- Broken neck : This happens when one or more of the bones in your neck is broken.
There are several different types of neck surgery. The type of surgery you may need depends on several factors, including whats causing your condition, your doctors recommendation, and your personal preference.
Here are some of the most common types of neck surgeries.
What Are The Symptoms Of Back And Neck Pain
Symptoms associated with back pain may include:
Dull, burning, or sharp pain in your back. The pain can be confined to a single spot or cover a large area
Leg numbness or tingling above or below your knee
Stiffness or achiness that occurs anywhere along your spine
Sharp, shooting pain that radiates from your low back to your buttocks, down the back of your thigh, and into your calf and toes
Consistent ache in the middle or lower part of your back, especially after standing or sitting for an extended period
Loss of bladder and bowel control, with weakness in both legs, are symptoms of a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Symptoms associated with neck pain can be:
Arm numbness or tingling
Sharp shooting pains or a dull aches in your neck
Pain that occurs suddenly in your back or neck, due to an injury, is considered to be acute pain. Acute pain comes on quickly and may leave sooner than chronic back or neck pain. This type of pain should not last more than 6 weeks.
Pain that may come on quickly or slowly and lingers for weeks, 3 months or greater, is considered to be chronic pain. Chronic pain is less common than acute pain.
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How Is The Neck Structured
Your neck and back are made up of small bones called vertebrae. These are stacked on top of each other to form the spinal column.
The spinal column supports your head and protects the spinal cord. This is the main structure which links the network of nerves throughout your body. Messages travel along this network sending sensations, such as pain, to your brain.
The top seven bones in the spinal column form your neck, and these are called the cervical vertebrae. The bones are linked together by facet joints. These are small joints between your vertebrae that, together with your neck muscles, allow you to move your head in any direction.
Between the vertebrae are discs of cartilage. The discs act as shock absorbers and give the spine its flexibility. A slipped disc occurs when one of these discs slips slightly out of its natural position in the spine.
What Causes Or Increases My Risk For Chronic Neck Pain
Chronic neck pain is often caused by a joint or disc problem in the neck. Any of the following can cause neck pain:
- Stenosis of your spinal column, or degeneration or inflammation of the discs in your neck
- Inflammation from a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, or rotator cuff tendinitis
- A condition that affects neck to arm nerves, such as thoracic outlet syndrome or brachial neuritis
- A fracture of a neck bone that causes nerve damage
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How Is Neck Pain Treated
The best way to treat most neck pain is to keep moving your neck, stay active and adapt any activities that might be causing your pain. Over-the-counter painkillers might be recommended.
If your neck pain doesnt go away, your doctor will investigate the cause. Serious, long-term neck pain is sometimes treated with steroid injections or, very rarely, surgery.
It might be helpful to rest your neck at first, but dont rest it for too long. If you dont move, the muscles will get stiffer and it will take longer for the pain to go away. Its better to gently stretch the neck muscles. Your doctor or physiotherapist can show you how to do this gently and safely.
There are ways you can manage your neck pain:
What Do I Need To Know About Chronic Neck Pain
Chronic neck pain may start to build slowly over time. Neck pain is chronic if it lasts longer than 3 months. The pain may come and go, or be worse with certain movements. The pain may be only in your neck, or it may move to your arms, back, or shoulders. You may have pain that starts in another body area and moves to your neck. You may have neck pain for years. Some types of neck pain can be permanent.
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What Is A Cervical Facet
Neck pain can arise from different structures in the spine that include the muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs and facet joints. Facet joints also referred to as zygapophysial joints or Z joints are located in the back portion of the spine. Each of us have two facet joints per cervical level, one on the right and one of the left. They provide support, stability and facilitate motion in the neck. Like other joints in the body such as the knee or ankle joint, the cervical facets are lined with cartilage . Cervical is the medical term for the neck. The cervical facets are susceptible to injury due to trauma such a rear-end motor vehicle accident, martial arts which can cause significant pain and restriction in neck movement . Pain from the injured cervical facet can be localized at the level of the injury or can be referred to the shoulders or scapula as illustrated to the right.
Chronic Neck Pain: Treatment Options
The human neck is an excellent buffer against head injuries. Its flexibility allows the head to move with any minor impact to any body part, protecting the brain from smashing into the hard inner wall of the skull, which results in concussions. Even the effects of major impacts, such as whiplash injuries that are common in rear-end automobile collisions, can be lessened by the shock absorbing design of the neck.
This protection does come at a price: neck pain. In protecting the brain, the neck may be yanked in any direction, pushed into an awkward position, or snapped hard enough to overextend its normal stretching limits.
Generally, these result in the following annoying but short-term pains in the neck:
- Difficulty moving or turning the head
- Sharp, stabbing pain in one small, specific location
- Soreness or tenderness in a general location
- Radiating pain that extends from the neck down to the shoulder, arm, or fingers
As bad as these injuries may sound, they represent relatively minor damage that may often be treated effectively with home remedies: cold, heat, rest, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Most minor neck pain dissipates after just a few days or a few weeks.
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What Causes Back And Neck Pain
Even with today’s technology, the exact cause of back and neck pain is difficult to determine. In most cases, back and neck pain may have many different causes, including any of the following:
Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use, such as repetitive or heavy lifting
Trauma, injury, or fractures
Degeneration of vertebrae, often caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support your spine, or the effects of aging
Abnormal growth, such as a tumor or bone spur
Obesity, which places increased weight on your spine, and pressure on your discs
Poor muscle tone
Joint problems, such as arthritis
Protruding or herniated disk and pinched nerve
Osteoporosis and compression fractures
Congenital abnormalities of your vertebrae and bones
Abdominal problems, such as an aortic aneurysm
More Common Before Age 50
Cervical artery dissections are seen more often in younger adults for two main reasons. First, a small percentage of people have underlying inherited connective tissue disorders that make their arteries more likely to tear. “For these people, an artery tear is more likely to manifest at a younger age,” explains Dr. Rost. In older people, other types of strokes are more common. But dissections can still happen in older people. A study in the journal Neurology found that one in 14 people diagnosed with a cervical artery dissection was age 60 or older.
The second artery dissections are more common before age 50? Younger adults are more likely to engage in exercise that involves neck movements that can precipitate a tear. Dr. Rost has seen a number of artery tears in people who do high-intensity fitness programs that combine elements from several sports and types of exercise. Dissections have also been reported after strenuous weight lifting, head-flinging dance moves, and even yoga. If not done properly, certain positions such as a shoulder stand can cause hyperextension of the neck.
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Surgical And Other Procedures: