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Chronic Neck Pain
Causes of a Stiff Neck
There are a number of neck pain causes, from the fairly benign to the truly dangerous. The causes of a stiff neck are often as simple as stress.
In fact, this particular ailment is endemic in our society, and often results in the unconscious tensing of muscles, even during sleep, that result in pain and tension. This is one of the main causes of having pain in neck, shoulders, and back. There are, however, other causes of neck stiffness and pain. Perhaps the next most probably cause of neck pain stiffness and discomfort is poor posture. Particularly in today’s offices, when people spend all day hunching toward computers in unsupportive chairs, a tendency toward poor posture could be what causes neck pain. From there, the causes of a stiff neck get more serious, and include such unpleasant issues as skeletal alignment. One particular form of spinal misalignment is scoliosis. This is when the spine pulls chronically to either one side or the other, sometimes in multiple areas. The most common form of scoliosis forms an S or backward S shaped curve along the back. This can be quite mild, and cause no noticeable discomfort, or it can be quite severe and cause radiating pain in the back or neck. Other, more sudden skeletal injuries include whiplash, and can also cause severe neck pain and stiffness. Other possible causes include degenerative skeletal conditions such as arthritis, or could be the result of a pinched nerve. The fact is that there are innumerable probable causes of a stiff neck, and the above mentioned are only some of the most likely.
Stiff Neck Remedies
One of the positive things about many of the causes of stiff neck pain listed above is that they have simple remedies. Consider the most common cause of neck pain: stress. The simplest stiff neck remedies for this are to attempt to lower stress on an everyday basis, and perhaps to get a massage, use a hot compress, or take a relaxing bath. The best way to avoid a painful neck due to stress is to avoid stress. The issue of poor posture is easily corrected as well. Simply make an effort to practice good posture on a daily basis. If this seems more difficult than it should, simply visit a masseuse or a chiropractor and explain your situation. Either of these professionals should be able to relieve the neck pain and either loosen muscles or realign the skeletal system to make good posture easier. From there, treatment becomes more difficult. Most people with severe scoliosis are treated in childhood or youth. This treatment can involve wearing a back brace, or having a metal rod inserted along the spine. The usefulness of the latter method in particular is in question. Regular visits to a chiropractor and physical therapist are recommended, and a spine straightening method that started in Germany known as the Schroth Method is gaining popularity throughout the United States as well. It has produced some impressive results that remain unmatched through other methods. Beyond and including scoliosis, it’s necessary for anyone with a stiff, painful neck to visit a doctor in order to insure that they aren’t suffering from a serious ailment. Even whiplash can lead to complications, and things such as degenerative arthritis and herniated disks should receive immediate medical attention.
A simple stiff neck isn’t often a medical emergency, or even an issue beyond a stiff muscle or a tweaked nerve. There are, occasionally, more serious issues at hand that require medical supervision or intervention. Should the latter be the case, or should you be unsure, then the safest course is to visit a doctor in a timely manner.