Neck pain is among the commonly neglected symptoms in the world. That’s because people automatically assume that their achy neck doesn’t require special attention. Many also think that their neck pain will eventually fade and cause little to no problem on their health and wellbeing. While this might be true for some cases, patients who seek upper cervical care know very well that some cases of achy neck require extra care and a tailored approach.
Read on to learn five neck pain red flags and what they potentially indicate. Also, be sure to check out our quick discussion on one of the most sought-after neck pain solutions in the country today.
Neck Pain Red Flags You Should Never Ignore
Neck pain can stem from various things, including whiplash injuries, poor posture, and neck bone misalignments. In some cases, neck pain can resolve on its own or with the help of simple home remedies such as applying an ice pack on the tender parts. However, there are instances when neck pain indicates a severe problem. Here are key indicators you need to look out for:
#1. Chronic neck pain for more than a month
Neck pain can stem from doing repetitive movements or following awkward lifting techniques. In such cases, the pain gradually fades as the muscles and joints recover from the injury. However, if you still feel a painful sensation after 4 to 6 weeks, it may indicate a serious underlying concern such as cervical subluxation or osteoarthritis.
#2. Unbearable pain
Muscle stiffness is normal when you have neck pain. However, if it leads to reduced head movements or excruciating pain, you may need to get checked by a doctor or an upper cervical care professional. Crippling pain and limited head movements may indicate misaligned neck bones or herniated discs. Additionally, if you experience a burning sensation, you might have a compressed or irritated nerve.
#3. Pain that radiates in the arm and leg
How do you characterize your neck pain? Is it only limited to one side of the neck? Does the sensation radiate to other body parts such as the shoulders, arms, hips, and legs? If your neck pain spreads to other body parts, you might have a pinched or compressed nerve. Your neck bones are likely pressing on some nerve roots found along the cervical spine.
#4. Neck pain with spinning sensations
Neck pain accompanied by vertigo or spinning sensations can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when it prevents you from doing your work or going out. Studies note this mostly happens because of neurovascular compression in the neck. When blood and oxygen fail to reach the brain, you become highly susceptible to dizziness and balance problems. The nerves in charge of transmitting information about balance and proprioception (sensation of movements) can also get affected, leaving your brain confused and disoriented.
#5. Neck pain with severe migraines
Many patients seeking upper cervical care for neck pain report migraine as their accompanying symptom. Studies attribute this problem to the effects of postural imbalances, which include the following:
- Impaired brainstem function
- Poor drainage of cerebrospinal fluid
- Increased intracranial pressure
- Lack of oxygen and other nutrients in the brain
- Excessive transmission of pain signals because of postural imbalances
- Poor energy metabolism
What to Do When You Spot Neck Pain Red Flags
We strongly recommend getting diagnosed by a physician or seeking upper cervical care when you have any of the neck pain red flags we listed above. This way, you can retrace your steps and determine if you need specialized patient care. Getting a comprehensive diagnosis will also help you assess your risks and implement lifestyle adjustments to prevent neck pain from taking over your life.
Don’t hesitate to seek emergency care if you suspect that your neck pain stems from a severe medical condition or injury. It would also help to reach out for help as soon as you notice unusual symptoms.
How to Ease Neck Pain that Doesn’t Require Emergency Care
If you don’t have the symptoms listed above, you can immediately tap into simple remedies to alleviate the pain. Here are some examples of your options:
- Rest your body and apply a cold compress on the swollen areas
- Eat plenty of healthy products to help your damaged tissues heal
- Schedule time for quick neck and shoulder exercises
- Switch to a better pillow or mattress
- Run a warm bath before bedtime
- Make sure you sleep enough during night time
- Indulge yourself in a relaxing deep tissue massage
- Avoid lousy posture practices like sitting for too long or slouching on your chair
- Consider proven holistic techniques such as upper cervical care and physical therapy
Receive Upper Cervical Care From a Local Chiropractor Near You!
It’s not easy to deal with constant neck pain, especially if it indicates an underlying health problem. Hopefully, our discussion shed light on the usual red flags of neck pain so you can seek proper patient care from professionals such as an upper cervical chiropractic doctor.
Have you ever tried seeking upper cervical care? It’s among the most popular remedies for neck pain today. Many patients who experience recurring neck pain enjoy massive relief thanks to atlas and axis adjustments. Hence, if your achy neck doesn’t improve or if you notice worse symptoms, we strongly recommend getting your neck bones checked for misalignments. You can receive proper care from a neck chiropractor in your city.
Find an upper cervical care practice in your vicinity today!