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Neck Pain: No Time To Neglect

May 1, 2008
We are all susceptible to it. Sitting at the computer, driving in our cars, sleeping at night ... it can hit at any moment. Yes, it's called neck pain, but there could be more to that possibly debilitating discomfort. The occurrence of acute neck pain can eventually lead to chronic neck pain if not treated, causing major problems down the road.

Neck pain can cause permanent damage especially if not treated correctly and in a timely manner. Around 10% of Americans deal with some kind of neck pain each year, according to The American College of Rheumatology. Pain in the neck can come about most commonly from an injury, a strain, or even just plain aging.

Acute neck pain can be treated in faster ways, but thousands of people also deal with persistent neck pain. For example, acute neck pain can happen when one sleeps awkwardly. If a pain occurs in the neck for a longer period of time though, it shouldn't be shrugged off. When untreated, issues in the spine and bones connected to the neck can arise and prove to cause future problems.

People who work behind a computer all day long, or get into a car accident and experience whiplash are more susceptible to neck pain.

Sitting behind a computer all day long can negatively impact a person's body. The neck gets overused, especially if a person is tense and stressed out while working. The nervous tension and the potential poor posture of someone working at a computer all day long, can definitely lead to pain in the neck area.

Driving a car with poor posture can also lead to neck pain; however, an accident in the car or in some other vehicle can cause severe whiplash. Whiplash is a leading cause of neck pain and the painful symptoms that come from such an accident "generally develop 24 to 48 hours after the injury," according to the American College of Rheumatology.

A herniated disc is a common cause of neck discomfort, especially after a whiplash injury. Heavy lifting and sport-related activities are also causes of this. When a nerve root is being pinched in the neck by a bulging disc, pain can occur. The first seven vertebrae in a human's body, known as the cervical spine, are very much related directly to this type of neck pain since a disc is between each vertebra. The spinal cord can become irritated once the bulge has become a persistent problem. The jelly-like material in a disc can rupture through and cause a problem such as a bulge or a herniation.

The reason someone gets a herniated disc is because the bulge has advanced in the spinal region and caused some wear and tear. The tearing over time can go far beyond pain. A person can experience a variety of problems when this occurs, including numbness in their arms, or even a weakness in the functioning abilities of their hands. This can lead to possible long-term neck pain if not treated correctly.

A life with neck pain is not a comfortable one, so an individual should take the necessary steps to care for their neck. There are steps we can all take to make sure we don't experience such discomforts.

People experiencing pain in their neck should contact their local chiropractor for more information.
About the Author
Mahsa Khalilifar is a freelance writer for Orange County Spinal Decompression in Irvine, CA. She received her bachelor's degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism from California State University, Fullerton. She has been involved in the health care industry for over eight years. Orange County Spinal Decompression is Orange County's premiere DRX9000 Spinal Decompression Office specializing in the treatment of neck and back pain.
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