Back and Neck Pain
Neck or back pain is one of the most frequent causes for which a patient requires a medical examination.
Let’s see them together..
Back pain is a very common disorder that affects men and women of any age, social class and race.
Among the main reasons of medical consultation and absence from work due to injury, back pain can be, in the most serious cases, extremely annoying and debilitating for those who suffer from it.
Although it can affect any tract of the back, back pain especially haunts the so-called lumbar area (lumbago), as it is here that most of the body weight and loads are concentrated at the time of their lifting.
What to do?
Reduce the loads on your back
Protect your back from trauma and avoid sudden movements
Practice sport and physical activity regularly. To remedy back pain it is advisable to focus on toning and stretching exercises, to be associated with moderate aerobic activity
Practice physical activity regularly in order to reduce body weight and improve muscle tone and elasticity
Maintain your ideal weight. In fact, obesity is also a risk factor for back pain
Understanding the causes of back pain to promptly intervene with specific treatment
Let’s find out the symptoms of neck pain
Neck pain is a symptom that recognizes many possible causes. Localized in the cervical region, it can in fact originate from problems to one or more structures – such as muscles, vertebral column, ligaments, intervertebral discs or joints – which guarantee both the movement and the support of the neck and head.
This symptom is to be attributed, in most cases, to vertebral pathologies of mechanical origin or sustained by infections, inflammatory processes or tumors.
Among the most frequent causes there are the hernia of an inter-vertebral disc and the cervical arthrosis. Sometimes, neck pain is associated with traumatic spinal injuries (eg whiplash), contractures or muscle spasms (stiff neck), incorrect postures taken during the day or when sleeping, or even excessive overloads and repeated on the neck muscles.
Pain can also result from many other disorders, such as Paget’s disease, herpes zoster, rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis and some vascular disorders. Even the presence of an anxiety state can induce tension in the neck muscles.
Neck pain can be felt in the morning or it can appear suddenly during the day, as a result of muscular effort. Depending on the cause, the pain in the neck may be accompanied by secondary symptoms such as: headache, neck and shoulder stiffness, muscle fatigue, numbness and tingling.
How to alleviate symptoms?
The choice of the remedy for cervicalgia is very subjective because it depends on the sensitivity of each person and also on the origin of pain. In general, when there is a strong muscular tension, the heat that relaxes the muscles is useful. The cold, on the other hand, reduces inflammation and therefore also pain.
Even if, so as not to feel pain, by instinct, one would prefer to keep the neck immobile, it is better to try to move it gently, continuing to carry out, as far as possible, daily activities. Immobility in fact reduces pain at the moment, but over time, due to this forced condition, the muscles tend to stiffen, causing more pain.
It is also important to keep the neck in a correct posture and avoid it, to wear it for a long time in positions that can irritate the muscles (for example, stay with the head bent backwards to look upwards).
Cervical pain is only a symptom. The diagnosis is therefore fundamental to define the most appropriate type of therapy.
Sometimes it can be enough to take anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain, first of all the classic paracetamol, on the advice of your doctor. In fact analgesic drugs (such as paracetamol), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in common use (ibuprofen, ketoprofen ..) are usually sufficient.
In the case of whiplash, the use of a collar may be indicated, but the usefulness of this measure has recently been questioned because, based on the latest scientific evidence, better results are obtained by early restitution of a certain mobility of the injured party, instead of keeping it too at rest.