Friday, January 6, 2012

Pain In The Neck?

Neck pain is less common than low back pain, which affects about 80 percent of us at some time in our lives. Nevertheless, a huge number of adults - between 38 and 50 percent - have to cope with a sore neck at some point.
Until recently, the cervical spine was largely ignored by researchers. Why? Because neck pain caused far less disability and absenteeism from work than low back pain.
Like the low back, the neck is subject to sprains and strains, joint problems, and disc problems.
When younger people develop acute neck strain it is usually a result of turning awkwardly during the night, or playing a sport such as squash that requires jarring movements. They may also strain a neck muscle lifting things improperly.
Middle-aged people are more likely to develop neck pain as a result of the normal degenerative changes of the discs and joints of the spine.
Whiplash - sprained or torn ligaments and/or muscles - can affect people of any age. In most cases, whiplash is caused by a car accident; if your car is hit from the rear, your head is snapped backward as your body is thrown forward.
Then, of course, is the new category of neck patients that has been emerging: people whose jobs require them to sit for long periods of time in a position that stresses the cervical spine - for example computer work.
As the research on neck pain continues, we'll be learning more about treatment. But right now, we know enough to show neck pain sufferers how to eliminate, or at least reduce, their neck pain with exercise and changes in both their work habits and the way their workstations are set up. For more information, visit the