DR ELLIE CANNON: What caused my 24-hour pain in the neck?

Mail Online | 4/22/2019 | Dr Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday
doona07 (Posted by) Level 3
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I have just recovered from a painful stiff neck that left me unable to turn my head for 24 hours. It’s still sore and stiff but I can move again. I don’t recall doing anything to cause it, and it’s not the first time it’s happened.

Neck pain is surprisingly common and often it’s not related to a single moment when an injury occurs.

Damage - Tissues - Accumulate - Time - Pain

Damage to the soft tissues can occur, and accumulate, over time until, eventually, pain and immobility are noticed.

Sleeping in a funny position, sitting at a desk for long periods and even smartphone usage – which involves bending the neck when sitting to look at the screen – are all associated with neck pain.

Problem - Awkward - Movements - Night - Firm

The problem can be prevented by avoiding awkward or long-held movements. And at night, using a firm mattress and ensuring the head is at a similar level to the rest of the body should help: a low, firm pillow is better than a high stack.

In an office environment, regular neck exercises and movement out of static positions is key.

Pain - Arises - Gels - Ibuprofen - Packs

When pain arises, pain-relief gels such as ibuprofen are useful, as are heat gel packs.

Neck pain and stiffness that comes and goes in someone over 50 may be a condition called cervical spondylosis. This is caused by wear and tear, but it also occurs in people whose work requires repetitive neck movements or overhead work such as decorating. Treatment involves physiotherapy, neck exercises and pain-relief treatments.

Health - Placebo

Is acupuncture proven to benefit health, or is it just a placebo?

Acupuncture is derived originally from traditional Chinese medicine – so generally regarded as an ‘alternative’ therapy – but it does have a physiological basis of action, according to some studies, meaning that it is more than a placebo, particularly when used for pain.

Acupuncture - System - Energy - Flow - Improving

Traditional acupuncture uses a system of energy flow and improving...
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