Neck pain is a common condition prevailing in multiple individuals. Every 1 out of 7 adults in India may suffer from neck pain. It may be divided mainly in two forms as below.
- SPECIFIC ORIGIN: It may be present due to any particular reason such as incorrect posture, genetic deformity, recent trauma, sports injury,
- NON SPECIIC ORIGIN: It does not have a specific cause of occurrence and could be present for a shorter duration of period ranging from a 4-5 days to couple of weeks.
- The Latest Trend:
The present common condition that has occurred in a high number in the last decade is the “TECH/TEXT DISEASE”. The disease is seen in the individuals that have an excessive usage of handheld devices or screen time. As due to longer usage of handheld devices or screen time puts extra strain on the muscles of neck causing pain, discomfort, reduced mobility and other multiple issues. The disease may also be termed as “turtle neck posture” or “anterior head syndrome”. The contributing factors for the condition are: –
- Abnormal Posture during the usage of devices.
- Prolonged use of devices.
- Excessive screen time (may be due to profession).
- Change in sleeping posture or utilities (pillow/mattress).
- Sedentary lifestyle.
The severity of the condition may be either active lasting from some days to a couple of weeks or may be chronic that could be there from certain months or existing since years. Longer prevailing of the contributing factors can further lead to the flattening of thoracic kyphosis, spinal degeneration, disc compression, muscle weakness, radiculopathy, slipped discs, spondylolysis, myelopathy and in some extreme cases the loss of lung capacity.
The common problems in this condition may be:
- Pain in the neck
- Pain around shoulder joint.
- Tightness of neck muscles
- Reduced movement of neck
- Tender Pain Points.
How to prevent the condition?
P: Posture correction – The excessive pain could be resolved to a great level by correcting the posture while sitting or using hand held devices, while sleeping or any other activities. Most of sudden emerging pain have incorrect posture as their main causative factor.
E: Exercise – Exercise could help in reducing pain along with improving mobility.
T: Take a break – It is always important to take a break if you have to attain a certain posture for a longer duration of time. Relaxing the muscles for 10-15 minutes after having a screen time of 45 minutes is advisable.
S: Stretch – Stretching the muscles would help in maintaining the mobility as well as keep the muscles flexible and prevent the serious ailments.
Red Flags are signs and symptoms that are prompting the severity of the prevailing issues and should be given proper attention to avoid further damage. Consulting an expert medical professional (Orthopedic or Physiotherapist) in case of prevalence of any of the red flag is advisable. The red flag for neck pain may be:
- pain following a fall or other trauma
- sudden fever
- sudden unexplained weight loss
- onset of severe pain
- new-onset weakness or sensory loss
- loss of bowel or bladder function
- persistent headaches
Physiotherapy Treatment for Neck Pain: –
Physical therapy is one of the most common and best treatments available for chronic neck pain. Physical Therapy could be designed to reduce pain, improve range of motion, provide dynamic strengthening to neck and surrounding muscles, prevent recurring of pain, Studies have suggested that physiotherapy could be very much effective in reducing neck pain, improving ROM, solving spine and back issues.