Its not rare that we go to sleep and the next day we are unable to move our neck left or right. Its stuck straight and we become the laughing stock at home moving our neck like a robot tilting not beyond a certain degree.
Neck spasms occur when the muscles in a person’s neck contract involuntarily. The muscles become tight, hard and painful. This has become a common problem in youngsters these days as they spend hours together staring at the computer screens without any movement. The problem seems simple and common, but a severe neck spasm can even cause dizziness and headaches.
Common causes of neck spasms include:
Apart from pain a neck spasm can cause:
Neck spasms that occur as a result of an injury need the doctor’s attention right away and so do those that cause severe symptoms or last for a long time (more than a week). Sometimes meningitis too can cause a stiff neck. This condition is extremely dangerous and its necessary to contact a doctor at the slightest doubt of any symptoms. Common symptoms of meningitis include chills, stiff neck, high fever suddenly, headache and purple bruise-like marking on the skin.
Individuals generally try home remedies, apply ointment on their own or go for other medical treatments such as:
Stress: Stress has become an inevitable part of our daily lives and has the potential to trigger a spasm. Taking regular breaks from work and doing stretches or exercises can help a person manage stress. Even a study shows that people who performed stress-relieving activities faced a lesser risk of back pain, neck and shoulder pain. Its common to see people relying on yoga and meditation to relieve stress but there are quite a many other interesting activities too listed at www.firsteatright.com that can help you handle stress with ease.
Keeping ice over the affected area can relieve pain and reduce spasm. It’s advisable to use an ice pack for 20 minutes every 3-4 hours daily.
Likewise, applying heat over the affected area too can relieve pain. Use a damp cloth or heating pad to place over the affected area.
The patient himself/herself or family members can massage the affected area and relieve spasm. Apply gentle pressure on the neck and move fingers in circular motion.
Its possible to prevent spasms by taking regular breaks from your computer, maintaining a good posture at office while working, using supportive pillows that give the right height to your neck, exercising regularly and doing stretches every now and then.
Neck spasms might take a few days or weeks to heal and you need to stop doing any activities that might aggravate the pain meanwhile. It is also better to take preventive measures to avoid suffering from a neck spasm in the first place by maintaining a smooth posture and exercising regularly.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.