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Question : My wife is getting pain in Neck and Cervical Region.

In Details : She is a teacher and this pain is severe after she attend class or doing lots of paper works. Eye-sight is OK and use Spec (Power is OK) . So far we only use Pain Relieving Ointment. A good sleep diminishes the pain. What is the best way to get rid off this pain and if any medication required what type of medication . Kindly advice.

1610 days ago       1 Answer(s)

Thanks for asking the question.

Massage, rest, ice or heat are the initial steps in treating the acute onset of cervical spine pain. Sometimes several weeks are necessary for resolution. If the symptoms seem to be gradually improving, no medical intervention may be necessary.

Avoid poor neck posture and positions. Sitting up straight and keeping the head centered over the chest while sitting improves posture. Please also do these
(1) avoid working with the arms up overhead or the neck in a persistently flexed position, (2) avoid frequent twisting or turning,
(3) avoid carrying a computer or heavy bag over one shoulder or cradling the phone to one ear,
(4) try to sleep with fewer pillows and avoid sleeping on one’s stomach.

Massage will loosen up the muscles. Ice may calm the inflammation at the onset of difficulties and heat may later relax the muscles.

Exercise in some form is also useful if the dysfunction is mild, postural and muscular in origin. Often best used for prevention of future difficulties, some forms of exercise may be tried in the acute phase as long as they are gentle and focus more on flexibility, toning and posture. Swimming, health club exercise machines (Nautilus, Ther-X, Cybex, etc.), stretching programs (Pilates, Yoga, etc.) and other home programs all have some utility when done correctly. Again, this approach is probably best done under professional supervision and also best used for protection from further injury.

Since you say that sleep relaxes her, so stress management should not be overlooked as psychological tension can be focused on the neck region as can work stress with long hours at the computer or desk. Poor sleep often accompanies stress, and the neck muscles don’t relax well when sleep is poor, thus perpetuating the symptoms of neck pain.

Anti-inflammatory agents, analgesics and muscle relaxants work best for most spine discomfort, though no single agent is curative. Some are available over the counter (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin etc) but the stronger agents are by prescription only, including the stronger pain medications and muscle relaxants. At best, this approach is a temporary fix until the anatomy and mechanics of the spine dysfunction are identified and corrected. Side effects and hazards from long-term use of these medications are common.

Best is to see an orthopedic doctor and get a physical therapy exercise course designed. They tend to be the best prevention for recurrent mechanical spine difficulties. Correcting posture and mechanical stresses comes first. Spine health depends on a balance of the flexors and extensor muscles of the spine, good posture and good tone and flexibility of the muscles. Active exercises designed, not so much for enhancing power in the neck muscles, but instead for promoting better tone and flexibility, work best. There are a number of exercise programs available, but the critical feature is not so much the particular one used, but that the individual finds a program that they will perform consistently. Professional instruction is probably best and can be accomplished by Physical Therapists, Physiotherapists and even Personal Trainers, depending on the underlying medical pathology.
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