The neck comprises of vertebrae from the skull till the shoulders. The inter-vertebral discs act as shock absorber in-between the bones. The muscles, bones, and ligaments of the neck support the head and facilitate movements.
You tend to experience neck pain or stiffness in the neck from time to time. By and large, it is because of poor posture or overuse.
What Causes Pain On Right Side Of Neck Down To Shoulder?
- Poor posture is the most frequent cause.
- Working at the computer for protracted periods of time without changing your position.
- Sleeping in an incorrect position.
- In case the neck gets jerked during exercise.
- The neck is rather susceptible to injury, more so, in falls, sports, and car accidents, where the muscles and ligaments in the neck are jerked outside their normal range.
- Spondylosis is an important cause. This is seen as narrowing of the disc space and neck discomfort and pain.
- Neck pain could be a symptom of a heart attack, especially, when there are associated features such as – sweating, breathlessness, nausea and vomiting and arm pain.
- Rheumatoid arthritis can trigger neck pain.
- Osteoporosis weakens bones and can lead to neck pain.
- Fibromyalgia is a medical condition which causes muscle pain all over the body, particularly in the neck and shoulders.
- A herniated cervical disc in the neck is a significant factor too. When a disc protrudes, it impinges the nerves and this sets off pain.
- Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column gets constricted and exerts a pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots. When the stenosis occurs in the cervical segment, you will experience neck pain.
- Meningitis is inflammation of the membranous tissue encapsulating the brain and the spinal cord. The condition manifests as neck pain and neck stiffness, fever and headache. Meningitis is a medical emergency.
- Rare causes include – congenital anomalies, an abscess, infections, and tumors.
Treatment Options For Pain In The Neck
You doctor will perform a physical exam and take your complete medical history. You need to carry out a few tests and investigations to ascertain the precise cause for your complaint. Based on the diagnosis, the treatment is started.
- Ice and heat therapy is usually the first line of treatment.
- Rest the neck and shoulder for about a week. Take a break from sports and activities which tend to worsen your symptoms. Recommence normal activity very gradually and only after the symptoms ameliorate.
- Physiotherapy plays a very important role in managing neck pain.
- Pain medications will be prescribed by your doctor to allay the discomfort.
- In cases of excruciating pain, you may need corticosteroid injections.
- Muscle relaxants help reduce stiffness and pains effectively.
- Traction provides good relief as well.
- If you have an abscess or some kind of infection, antibiotics will be given.
- Some experts also recommend – acupuncture, massage, chiropractic therapy and trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Ensure that you visit a certified professional when using these methods.
- Exercise your neck daily. Talk to your physical therapist regarding what exercises are best for you.
- Use a special neck pillow for sleeping; confer with your health care provider before buying one though.