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Neck Tension: Causes and Treatment

Kalpana Kumari
The major cause of tension in the neck is pulling of the neck muscle. This is caused by staying in an improper posture for long hours, exerting unnecessary strain on the neck, etc. Read this Story to learn about some of the possible causes and home remedies for neck tension.
Many a time, your everyday activities are responsible for making you suffer from neck pain. The neck cramp can either be acute or chronic. The pain may not be restricted to the neck only but may radiate down to the shoulders, upper back, and arms as well. The symptoms of a neck tension are a knot or severe pain and stiffness. In some cases, the common symptoms include noisy joints, dizziness, blackout, and torticollis.

Possible Causes

➜ Certain medical conditions can give rise to neck tension. A few such diseases are fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, spondylosis, osteomyelitis, abscess, discitis, and cancer that majorly involve the spine.
➜ Another major cause is straining of the neck muscles. This mostly occurs due to the day-to-day activities. The most common amongst the possible causes is bending over a table or desk for hours to work on something. Secondly, you might be maintaining a wrong posture of sitting or lying down for long hours. This mostly happens when you sleep, read something, or watch television.
➜ Thirdly, you might be keeping your computer monitor either too high or low at your workplace. Fourthly, you may be jolting your neck too hard while performing some sort of a physical exercise.
➜ Fifthly, if you are in the habit of teeth grinding or jaw clenching, especially while sleeping, it can cause tension in the neck. Sixthly, you may develop tension in the neck and headache on having ice creams and cold beverages rapidly. Apart from all these causes, both physical inactiveness and overactiveness can result in this problem.

Treatment Options

➜ You can get instant relief from neck tension and headache by taking pain killers. Go for non-prescription pain killers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc. They give excellent results in bringing down the pain.
➜ However, first make sure that you are not allergic to them or any of the other contents of such over-the-counter analgesics. Using a soft neck collar is another way of providing yourself some relief from the pain.
➜ It provides support to your neck and assists in maintaining a straight posture that is required to recover fast. Special pillows for neck pain relief are available in the market. They usually give positive results upon regular usage.
➜ Consult your doctor and assure yourself about their suitability in your case prior to purchasing them. According to general observation, sleeping without a pillow on a hard mattress helps in alleviating the pain in the neck.
➜ Try it out and continue doing it if you observe any improvement. Use a cold compress around your neck and leave it on for 5 - 10 minutes. Do it 2 - 3 times a day to get relief from neck tension. You may even try a hot compress as well if you are more comfortable using it. Taking a bath with warm water will produce the same effect.
➜ Even a mild physical activity can aggravate the symptoms. Therefore, take complete bed rest for the first couple of days. You should also consult a physical therapist who will suggest some low-range exercises for relief from neck tension. Perform them as directed to reduce the discomfort.
➜ Massage the neck gently with warm olive oil in a circular motion. This will result in a fast recovery. You may take over-the-counter liniments containing capsaicin to accelerate the natural process of healing.
Try out the aforementioned home remedies for neck tension for a week's time. If you find satisfactory betterment in your case, you may continue doing the same. Otherwise, pay a visit to your doctor. Consulting a doctor will be beneficial even if you feel better with home remedies. This is because the doctor will diagnose the correct underlying cause and treat it effectively.
Disclaimer: This Story is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.