What Causes A Neck Spasm?
If you have a stiff painful neck, you might be a candidate for a neck spasm. These spasms can happen because of an injury, poor posture or stress. A spasm is an involuntary contraction in a muscle. When this happens in a muscle that is already sore, the pain can become severe. You have no control over the neck spasm and it can happen any time after the initial injury.
The neck has trigger points in it. This means that the pain that occurs there, can move to other areas of the body. It can reach the shoulders, arms and even the head and headaches are known to accompany a neck spasm. These pains can last for a few days to a few weeks. If the initial injury does not heal right away, the neck spasms won't either. It may be important to pinpoint where the injury came from, to know how to stop it from reoccurring.
There are many different reasons for having a neck spasm. They can be brought on by an injury to the neck, like a whiplash or car accident. Slouching or sitting in the same position every day during work can affect the neck area. Sleeping on a bed that doesn't have the proper support or on a pillow that is too soft can make the neck sore and achy. But perhaps the biggest reason for neck pain is stress.
When people feel extreme stress, they tighten their neck and shoulder muscles. If the stress continues for a long period of time, the shoulders and neck muscles become tightened and hard. This can make the neck stiffen and any kind of movement can be very painful and the sufferer will avoid moving his neck. The involuntary contractions are the body's natural response to the injury.
There are several ways to avoid a neck spasm. The first would be, to eliminate the stress from your everyday routine. If you have to sit in a specific area everyday in order to work, you can take short breaks during the day and stretch the neck muscles. Unfortunately, financial difficulties and some family matters cannot be dealt with that easily. But it is recommended for people in these situations to try things like yoga or meditation. Anything that can help to reduce stress.
If the neck spasm is from an injury, a doctor can advise you on what to do next. He will have to make sure that there is no further damage to the area and then the sufferer can begin psychical therapy. This type of therapy includes massage and learning how to stretch the neck muscles, so that they can remain loose.
The doctor may also prescribe pain medication or muscle relaxer to anyone who is suffering from a neck spasm. The muscle relaxer will calm the muscles of the neck allowing the area to heal without further pain. If the pain cannot be reduced by these methods the doctor may inject the neck muscle with a type of anesthetic drug to lessen the pain. He may also choose to inject cortisone into the affected area.
Moist heat or ice packs can be applied to the neck area as a pain reducer. This all depends on the severity of the injury and what is considered helpful for the sufferer. It is also recommended that an anti inflammatory medicine be used during this time.
If you are suffering with a neck spasm and already know how it occurred, you can learn how to relax and stretch the neck muscles to reduce tightness. If you do not know why you are suffering with this problem, you may want to see a doctor if the pain lasts for more than a few days.