Steps to prevent neck pain
Most of the time, neck pain can be attributed to muscle strain and will disappear within a few days of rest and over-the-counter pain medication. However, if you notice that the pain does not subside after a few days or a week of rest, you should schedule an appointment with your physician. This may be a sign that you are developing a degenerative spine condition in your neck.
Often, degenerative spine conditions in the neck can be prevented or postponed with daily steps. These conditions include a herniated disc, a bulging disc, a disc protrusion, spondylolisthesis, cervical spinal stenosis and arthritis of the spine. The following article will help you understand what you can do to strengthen your spine, in order to help you avoid these conditions in the future.
Steps to take for neck pain prevention
The cervical spine (neck) is made up of seven vertebrae that support your head and any weak areas that need to be protected. The top two vertebrae, known as the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2), form a base upon which the skull rests and allows for movement in the head and neck. The other five vertebrae (C3 to C7) provide support for the head and are separated by discs that cushion and support the spine.
A major factor in the overall health of the cervical spine is the strength of the muscles in the neck and shoulders, as well as your general health. Here are a few tips to ensure better physical fitness and to help avoid neck pain:
- Maintain a healthy weight by eating a diet full of proper nutrients
- Exercise regularly, including weight training to strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles
- Practice sound body mechanics like good posture or athletic form, especially when lifting heavy objects or participating in sports that require a lot of bending, twisting and explosive movement
- Quit smoking cigarettes, the ingredients of which constrict blood vessels and have other harmful effects
When neck pain strikes
When pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness associated with nerve compression in the cervical spine become debilitating and you have exhausted steps taken towards neck pain prevention, surgery may be an option to treat your condition. At Laser Spine Institute, we understand that spine surgery can be an overwhelming thought, which is why we are here to guide you through your treatment options so you can feel confident about your spine care decision. Our outpatient procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients to date find relief from chronic neck and back pain.
One of the advantages of our minimally invasive neck surgery is the no lengthy recovery compared to traditional open neck surgery. We also have a patient satisfaction score of 96 and a patient recommendation score of 97 out of 100.^