Every person needs a strong and healthy spine, yet so many of us take it for granted.
Virtually every movement we make, from the time we wake up to the moment we turn out the light, involves the use of the neck and back. That's why, when neck and back pain strikes, it affects everything we do.
Neck and back pain become extremely common as people get older.
It's a condition that can affect not only your physical health, but also your emotional, social and economic well being. A single episode of neck and back pain can completely disrupt your daily tasks, routines, leisure activities and employment. It can bring life to a standstill, causing a flood of doctors' reports and missed days at work.
Without question, neck and back pain can make life downright miserable. Still, there is no reason to panic and rush into surgery. Many other treatment options are available and there are pain management steps that you can take to overcome your obstacles. These non-surgical measures can not only help your pain, but also reduce the likelihood of recurring episodes.
Neck and back pain is usually caused by strains or other injuries to the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spinal column. These may be caused by sports injuries, or a sudden increase in physical activity to which the individual is not accustomed, such as a jarring motion or heavy lifting.
Viral infections can sometimes bring on flu-like symptoms with accompanying muscular neck and back pain. Doctors refer to this condition as myalgia.
The natural degeneration of the spine can also bring about intense neck and back pain.
The individual bones that make up the spine, called vertebrae, are joined together by the intervertebral discs, ligaments and joints. Combined, these components form the spine's strong and flexible structure.
As you age through the middle years and beyond, neck and back pain can occur as a result of the wear and tear of your intervertebral discs and other associated components of your spine. Movement is the number one cause of these degenerative changes. Motion causes the cervical (neck), and the lumbar (lower back) areas of the spine to break down over time.
As biological structures, joints and ligaments naturally try to heal and repair themselves when damaged. Sometimes, this act of self-healing can result in bulging discs, buckling ligaments, bone spurs and other deformities. Such changes can also create a painful pinching of the canals through which nerves pass.
While there is no definitive cure for every type of neck and back pain, many conditions are easily and effectively treatable. Most doctors prescribe pharmaceutical medications with pain-killing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Some patients would rather avoid medications in favor of alternative treatments. Passive physical therapy can be effectively combined with active physical exercise. You can try applying hot and cold compresses to relieve discomfort in the painful area. The use of electric impulses is another option used to override the muscular spasms that cause neck and back pain.
It can seem impossible to lead a normal, productive life with neck and back pain, but surgery is not necessarily the answer. If you suffer from persistent neck and back pain, speak with your doctor to learn more about the treatment options that can help you get your life back.