Chronic neck pain is a debilitating and frustrating symptom for anyone who is afflicted. There are many structures in the neck that can cause neck pain. There are two major classifications of neck pain: acute neck pain and chronic neck pain.

Acute Neck Pain:
Acute neck pain is usually caused by common day-to-day activities such as poor posture while sitting; sitting at a desk all day without taking breaks; sleeping in a wrong position; looking at a TV or computer monitor for extended periods of time with the monitor or TV in improper position; or twisting or turning your neck in sudden or jarring motions. Acute neck pain can be felt in areas other than your neck. Acute muscle spasms that compress or pinch a nerve in your neck can cause pain , numbness, or weakness in your arms, hands, and fingers. Acute onset of severe neck pain can result from a traumatic injury to bone or nerve structures in your neck. Injuries like a vertebra fracture, whiplash, and blood vessel damage can all lead to chronic neck pain.

Chronic Neck Pain:
Chronic neck pain is described as neck pain lasting longer than 2-3 weeks whether the pain is severe or mild. It is important for chronic neck pain patients to seek medical attention, proper examination of the neck structures, and diagnostic X-rays, CT or MRI scans to rule out more serious injuries that could cause permanent injury.  

Medical Conditions That Cause Neck Pain

1.Cervical disc herniation or cervical fracture
2.Cervical degenerative disc disease
3.Pinched neck nerve
4.Cervical spinal stenosis
5.Cervical arthritis
6.Spinal tumor
7.Spinal infection

Home Treatments For Neck Pain:

1.Over the counter anti inflammatory meds (Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin) to reduce inflammation and Tylenol (Acetaminophen) for pain relief.
2.Apply ice to the injured area for the first 48-72 hours to reduce the initial inflammation and swelling. After that apply heat to increase blood flow to the injured area to speed healing. You can use a package of frozen vegetables if no ice pack or compress is available. Use frequent hot showers, hot compresses, or heating pad for applying heat to the injured area. Remember to avoid prolonged contact ( no more than 20 minutes) with the skin, whether applying heat or cold, to avoid frostbite or 2nd or 3rd degree burns. 
3.Reduce your activity level for the next few days to give your body time to respond to the meds and cold or hot treatments. Avoid extended periods of inactivity, however, as muscle atrophy can occur that will worsen your condition.

If 5-7 days pass without noticeable improvement or extremity numbness, weakness, or discoloration occurs, call for an appointment with Dr. Sciacca or your physician immediately so a thorough evaluation can be performed. Once serious causes are eliminated medical acupuncture may be of benefit for acute or chronic neck pain. Dr. Sciacca is a board certified medical acupuncturist. Call for an appointment if you are experiencing pain despite surgery, and manipulative or physical therapy and are interested in medical acupuncture. 

For more information about neck pain

4501 Southlake Pkwy
Suite #200
Hoover, AL 35244