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What Does Back Neck Pain Mean

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When Should I See A Doctor If I Have Lower Back Pain

What Causes Neck Pain? | Back Pain Relief

In many cases lower back pain stops on its own. But if it doesnt, here are some guidelines on when you may want to start seeking professional help:

  • If the pain lasts four weeks or longer
  • If the pain keeps getting worse as time goes by
  • If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, major weight loss or weight gain, loss of function or weakness in extremities, bladder problems, etc.

Dealing With Neck Pain: What Does It Mean Metaphysically

December 13, 2013 By Lauren

Many of us suffer from some sort of neck or back pain often in the shoulders as well. Metaphysical healing is just as important as the physical healing when it comes to injuries and dealing with pain. I normally have a pain-free body because I take good care of myself, do yoga and eat well, feel balanced, etc. but when I get thrown off of my alignment I FEEL it. Part of feeling everything so deeply for me, means dealing with pain in an emotional way, because it affects me in that way as well so much. It often silences me, brings me inward

Dr K Daniel Riew On Technology

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You see it everywhere. In homes and offices, while walking down the street, riding the bus, or standing in line. Tech neck, the act of stressing muscles while using phones, tablets, and computers, resulting in neck and shoulder pain, stiffness, and soreness, is a problem thats getting worse.

Last year, Americans spent a daily average of 5 hours and 53 minutes with digital media, including 3 hours, 17 minutes a day on non-voice activities on mobile devices a jump of more than an hour since 2013, according to eMarketer.

The result? Headaches, neck spasms, and creaky shoulder joints, caused by holding ones neck still for long periods, says K. Daniel Riew, M.D., director of cervical spine surgery and co-director of spine surgery in the department of orthopedic surgery at the NewYork-Presbyterian Och Spine Hospital. Here, Dr. Riew breaks down the causes and symptoms of tech neck and offers ways to correctly and safely align the body while using mobile phones, computers, and other digital media devices.

So how should you sit? A better way to sit is with the chair reclining 25-30 degrees with a good lumbar support to prevent slouching. In this position, the discs in the back, as well as the neck, are subjected to much lower forces than in an upright position, and the muscles in the back of the neck no longer have to contract to hold your head up.

Dr. K. Daniel Riew

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Rare Causes Of Right Side Neck Pain

There are less common causes of neck pain that may be more severe. These may include:

  • damage to the nerves, vertebrae, or spinal cord
  • infections

When neck pain is mild or moderate, it is usually possible to treat the symptoms at home. Some cases of neck pain will clear up quickly over the course of a day while others may require a few weeks to resolve fully.

A person may wish to use home remedies before seeking medical help. People can try the following methods to ease their pain:

  • taking over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications
  • applying heat using heating pads, baths, or warm, moist towels
  • massaging and manipulating the neck
  • stretching the neck
  • applying ice to the injured area
  • practicing good posture when sitting, standing, and walking
  • sleeping in a position that supports the neck
  • performing exercises to help keep the neck strong

However, home remedies may not always alleviate the pain. Some people will require medical treatment to achieve relief from their neck pain. The exact treatment will depend on whether or not any underlying conditions are causing the pain.

A doctor may try the following additional treatments:

  • muscle relaxants

Neck Pain Red Flags And When Not To Worry

Neck Cracking and Grinding: What Does It Mean?

Article by Paul Ingraham | Featured on Pain Science

We fear spine pain more than we fear other kinds of pain. Backs and necks seem vulnerable. And yet most spinal pain does not have a serious cause. The bark of neck pain is usually worse than its bite. This article explains how to tell the difference.

Please do seek care immediately if youve been in an accident or you have very severe or weird pain or other symptoms obviously. This article is for non-emergency situations. But if you have neck pain thats been starting to worry you, this is a good place to get some reassurance and decide whether or not to talk to a doctor.

Although its rare, once in a while neck pain may be a warning sign of cancer, infection, autoimmune disease, or some kind of structural problem like spinal cord injury or a threat to an important blood vessel. Some of these ominous situations cause hard-to-miss signs and symptoms other than pain and are likely to be diagnosed correctly and promptly so, if it feels serious, go get checked out. Otherwise, if you are aware of the red flags, you can get checked out when the time is right and avoid excessive worry until then.

A personal worry example

The rule of thumb is that you should start a more thorough medical investigation only when all three of these conditions are met, three general red flags for neck pain:

  • its been bothering you for more than about 6 weeks
  • its severe and/or not improving, or actually getting worse
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    The Metaphysical Meaning Behind Back And Neck Pain

    Here is what I heard in meditation about the metaphysical meaning behind back and neck pain:

    Back and neck issues occur when we are out of alignment with our values. We have not allowed ourselves to have the support and structures we need in order to live a life that is clear and on course with our higher perspectives.The spine is the conduit between our passion for life on earth and our blissful nature as spiritual beings. When we cut ourselves off from either our enjoyment of physical life or opportunities to open to enlightened awareness, our spines suffer.

    When you have a spinal injury, consider noticing which vertebrae have been harmed and discover what organs are connected to that part of your spine. Then discover what emotional issues need resolution in order for those organs to function in a healthy manner.

    If you are born with a curvature of the spine or other spinal condition, you may have come into this world with a strong karmic need to create a clear and direct life that is fully in alignment with what you most value.

    If you have been doing a lot of spiritual growth work and you find your energy is congested in your spine, notice where it is congested and begin working with the organs that correlate with those vertebrate and/or begin lovingly working with the correlating chakra.

    The spine requires a balance of these energies in order to be healthy.

    I do have an MP3 for back and neck pain that will support you in healing the underlying emotional concerns.

    Cold Or Warm Compress

    You can use a cold compress or a heating pad to help get relief from any type of pain behind the ear or neck pain.

    For example, doctors on the website say that a cold or warm compress may help to get rid of pain from an ear infection. You could try alternating between both to help get rid of mastoid bone pain due to an earache.16

    How to use heat for ear and neck pain:

  • Dip a clean washcloth in hot water and wring out the excess.
  • Press on the painful area behind your ear or on your neck for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Dip in warm water as needed to keep the washcloth warm.
  • Use 3 or 4 times a day to help reduce pain in your ear or neck.
  • How to use ice for pain behind ear and neck:

  • Put some crushed ice in a plastic sealable bag and cover with a towel.
  • Place the cold compress on your sore ear or sore neck to help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Apply for 15 minutes at a time.
  • Use 3 or 4 times a day to help relieve discomfort from behind your ear and neck.
  • After 2 or 3 days when any swelling has gone down, you should switch to a heating pad.
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    When To Seek Medical Care For Neck Pain And Dizziness

    With any unexplained or persisting neck pain or dizziness, consult with a health care professional. This is essential to determine whether the symptoms are harmless and temporary or serious and threatening.

    You can often manage common causes of harmless neck pain and dizziness — including neck strains, viral infections of the mouth and throat, and minor dehydration — with home remedies and rehydration. You can use over-the-counter analgesics, such as acetaminophen , rest, topical analgesics, and heat applications for minor pain.

    Signs Of Arthritis Are Not Red Flags

    Causes of Back and Neck Pain

    One of the most common concerns about the neck that is not especially worrisome: signs of wear and tear on the cervical spine, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease, as revealed by x-ray, CT scans, and MRI. Many people who have clear signs of arthritic degeneration in their spines will never have any symptoms, or only minor, and/or not for a long time.10 For instance, about 50% of fortysomethings have clinically silent disk bulges, and even at age 20 theres a surprising amount of spinal arthritis. The seriousness of these signs is routinely overestimated by patients and healthcare professionals alike.11

    Signs of arthritis are almost never diagnostic on their own.12 Do yourself a favour: dont assume that you have a serious problem based only on pain plus signs of arthritis. Pain is common serious degeneration is not.

    but no pain

    Percentages of people with various kinds of spinal degeneration . Source:

    Imaging finding

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    How To Tell Your Neck Pain Might Be Caused By A Heart Problem

    A good tipoff is the presence of certain additional symptoms.

    While many different disorders can cause anterior neck pain, neck pain associated with difficulty breathing, chest pain, feeling flushed or sweating, or palpitations should raise suspicion for acute cardiac pathology, explains Sendhil Krishnan, MD, a board-certified adult general cardiologist with advanced subspecialty training in interventional cardiology.

    Dr. Krishnan adds, The reason for the association of neck and jaw pain with cardiac problems has to do with cranial nerve X , also known as the vagus nerve.

    The Cervical Spine And What Can Go Wrong

    The cervical spine begins at the base of the skull and consists of a series of 7 vertebral segments, named C1 though C7. It connects to the thoracic region of the spine at the C7-T1 level.

    Watch Cervical Spine Anatomy Video

    Ligaments, muscles, and tendons help stabilize and move the cervical spine. The most common cause of neck pain occurs when one of these soft tissues becomes strained or sprained from overuse or overextension. This type of injury typically heals within a week or two.

    With the exception of the top level of the cervical spine, which primarily provides rotation for the skull, most levels of the cervical spine can be described as follows:

    • A pair of facet joints connect two vertebrae, enabling forward, backward, and twisting motions
    • Between the vertebrae is a disc, which provides cushioning, spacing, and coordination
    • Watch Cervical Nerve Anatomy Animation

    Various problems in the cervical spine can irritate a nerve root or the spinal cord, causing longer-lasting neck pain and/or neurological deficits. Some examples include a degenerated disc pushing into a nerve, or a bone spur growing on facet joints that encroach on a nerve.

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    Can Neck Pain Be Prevented

    The best way to prevent neck pain is to keep your spine flexible and your muscles strong. You can do this with regular exercise 30 minutes on most days. Make sure you take plenty of breaks throughout the day to stretch.

    Its important to develop good posture especially when youre sitting, at work or driving. Try not to slouch or to poke your chin out. A supportive pillow is also important to prevent neck pain.

    How To Diagnose It

    Back or Neck Pain? What Different Types of Pain Mean ...

    The first thing you should do is consult a doctor. When going to a doctor or other specialist to see whats going on with your back, you will undergo a series of questions or tests to determine what is going on and what could have happened to cause your lower back pain. Here is some of the information/tests you will/should go over with your doctor:

    • Activity level: The doctor will most likely talk about your activity level and if there were any sudden changes in it. If you are someone who tends to sit a lot, then any kind of physical activity or change in movement patterns is going to cause back pain if you just jump into it right away. Your back will need to adjust slowly to it.
    • Sleeping position: Its common knowledge that some sleeping positions are better than others when it comes to back health and its pain. Your doctor will likely ask you how you sleep and if it hurts to sleep in any certain position.
    • Palpation: In actual treatment, the doctor will possibly palpate your back to see where the pain is and how the muscle reacts to it. This determines what kind of injury it is which will help in treating it.
    • Range of movement test: There will also potentially be a test done to determine how you can move and where its hard to do so. This will help the professional understand where, in fact, the injury is and even how severe it is.

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    Common Treatment Options For Neck Pain

    Most conventional health-care professionals will recommend some sort of pain relievers as a first plan of action to relieve severe neck pain. Sometimes theyll prescribe prescription pain pills or a muscle relaxant. Or they may recommend you take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen , or NSAIDs or naproxen

    While pain management is important, its not enough

    Your doctor may order X-rays, MRIs or CT scans so they can see whats going on in the area around your cervical spine. Looking at these tests, your doctor may or may not be able to determine what condition you have. But what these tests definitely WONT do is tell you whats CAUSING your condition.

    These tests cant tell you the strength or the flexibility of a muscle. They cant tell you why your pelvis, spine, neck and shoulders are the way they are and they certainly cannot tell you how your muscles are out of balance.

    The ONLY way to identify your imbalances is to go through a physical assessment designed to look specifically for muscle imbalances and associated postural dysfunctions.

    Once you know your postural dysfunctions, it is very easy to work backwards, because each dysfunction has a certain set of imbalances almost like a syndrome. That is, it repeats itself consistently and predictably at any age, regardless of gender and regardless of activity level.

    When To See A Doctor

    Pain on the left side of your neck that lasts for more than a week and doesnt respond to treatment should be evaluated by a doctor.

    If you start to feel pain running down your arms or legs, or you feel a numbness or tingling sensation in your neck, see a doctor as soon as you can. Neck pain accompanied by a headache should also be evaluated promptly.

    If neck pain is the result of an obvious incident, such as a car accident, fall, or sports injury, seek medical attention immediately.

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    Pinched Nerve From Degeneration And Bone Spurs

    In middle-aged and older people, the degenerative disc disease can cause bonespurs to form around the nerve roots. This usually occurs inside the foramen- the opening in the cervical spine where the nerve root leaves the spine totravel into the arm. If these bone spurs get large enough, they may begin torub on the nerve root and irritate it. This causes the same symptoms as a herniateddisc. The irritation causes: painto run down the arm, numbness to occur in the areas to which the nerve providessensation, and weakness in the muscles that the nerve supplies.

    Causes Of A Lump On Back Of The Neck

    Does Sciatica, Back Pain, or Neck Pain Require Surgery?

    1. Injury to a muscle or tendon, from an accident or strenuous movement, can result in a lump on the back of the neck. The lump may be the muscle itself as it moves in place when damaged. Our muscles and tendons maintain our body shape. You may feel pain, neck stiffness, or have difficulty moving your neck. This is a very common cause of a lump on the back of the neck. Treatment is usually rest, ice packs, and over-the-counter pain relievers.

    2. Tonsillitis, or inflammation of the tonsils, usually begins with a lump at the front of the neck with a lump appearing at the back once the infection begins to spread. Located at the back of the throat, just above the end of the tongue, the tonsils are responsible for preventing harmful bacteria from entering our body. Once the tonsils become full of bacteria, they swell and can become infected.

    Symptoms include pain in the throat, fever and difficulty swallowing, in addition to a lump. These can be treated with salt water gargling, antibiotics, or in extreme cases, surgery.

    3. Swollen lymph nodes are very common with colds and a sore throat and can present as palpable lumps on the neck, particularly on the back of neck in some cases. The lymph nodes are located throughout the body, mainly in the neck and underarm regions and are part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is vital to our circulatory and immune systems as it is comprised of small vessels of lymph fluid that flows throughout our body to prevent infections.

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