Having any kind of pain is always a drag. In addition to feeling discomfort, it can also be disruptive to many aspects of your life — whether when doing activities of daily living such as personal hygiene, taking care of your home, spending time with your family, or keeping up with your work responsibilities. But, in order to get proper treatment, it’s essential to know which type of pain you’re experiencing. Such is the case with acute neck pain. What does the term mean? What causes it? And, what can you do to make it better?
What is acute neck pain?
Acute neck pain is the type of pain that comes on suddenly, and it can last for several days. In addition to pain, the condition can cause you to experience soreness along the neck, shoulders, and face. The pain increases in intensity relatively quickly and may become exacerbated by certain motions.
Acute Neck Pain Causes
Acute neck pain could be caused by trauma — such as a fall, hard hit, or accident — or by an underlying medical condition. The most common causes of acute neck pain include:
Acute Neck Pain Symptoms
The symptoms of acute neck pain may vary from one person to the next. Typically, they include:
- Intense, shooting pain
- Pain that radiates to the head and shoulders
- Diminished range of motion
If the pain affects nerves, you may also feel the pain and tingling radiating down your arms, all the way to your hands. Another telltale sign that the pain is affecting your nerves is if your hands feel numb, or you’re having problems coordinating movements.
Acute Neck Pain Treatment
There are several forms of treatment to alleviate acute neck pain. Which one is best for you depends on the root cause of the condition. Some treatments may include:
1. Seeking orthopedic diagnostics
Schedule an appointment with an orthopedic physician to examine your neck, as well as to undergo imaging testing to determine the severity of the condition.
2. Wearing a cervical collar
This provides support to your neck and spinal cord and prevents you from doing any sudden movements that may worsen the pain. This is typically recommended for patients whose acute pain was caused by an injury.
3. Prescription medications
These could be oral tablets to reduce inflammation or injected medications to block the pain. If the pain is minor, your doctor may skip the prescriptions and recommend over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).
4. Hot/Cold therapy
Your doctor may instruct you to apply a heating pad for about 20 minutes at a time, every hour. As an alternative, you may be instructed to apply ice to prevent swelling.
5. Physical therapy
You may be instructed to do specific exercises to help you regain and maintain your range of motion. Which types of exercises you’ll have to do will depend on the severity of your condition.
6. Being mindful of your posture
Slouching over a desk on a daily basis can trigger acute neck pain. Maintain your computer monitor at eye level and keep your mouse and computer at a distance where you don’t have to extend your arms — keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re suffering from acute neck pain, let us help you. We’ll tailor a treatment plan that’s best for your lifestyle and get you back to doing the things you love. With six convenient locations, we provide quality orthopedic care and interventional pain management services to patients in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Palm Coast, New Smyrna Beach, and beyond.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.