Polmed leaflets (Neck pain) by yho59756


									What are the   Neck Pain
symptoms of    NOTE: This information sheet is for your             pharmacological measures and physical therapy
               general information and is not a substitute          exercises. Ice or heat applications to the base
 neck pain?    for medical advice. You should contact your          of the neck and upper back can provide
               physician or other healthcare provider with          temporary relief of pain and muscle spasm.
               any questions about your health, treatment           • Pain relief. Paracetomol or a non-steroidal
               or care.                                                 anti-inflammatory medication may be
                                                                        helpful to relieve mild to moderate neck
               The muscles and joints of the cervical spine             pain.
                                                                    • Ice. Ice should be applied directly to the
               (neck) facilitate the movements of the head.
                                                                        muscles of the neck that are in spasm. The
               Any problem of the muscles and structures
                                                                        ice must be left in place for 15 to 20 minutes
               that form the joints of the neck, will lead to
                                                                        to deeply penetrate the tissues. Treatment
               pain and restriction of movement.                        is repeated every four to six hours until
                                                                        symptoms improve.
               What are the symptoms of neck pain?                  • Heat and massage. Heat should be applied
               Pain may be experienced along the posterior              to the neck muscles prior to performing
               aspect of the neck but may also be experienced           the stretching exercises described below.
               as tension headaches, thoracic back pain and             A shower, hot bath or a moist towel
               shoulder pain. More advanced conditions may              warmed in a microwave and applied for 10
               affect the spinal nerves that exit the neck and          to 15 minutes are all effective. Massage is
               travel down the arm. Irritation of one of these          helpful if you continue to have muscle
               nerves can cause pain and numbness in the                spasms for more than one to two weeks.
               lower arm and hand (pinched nerve or                 • Stretching exercises (please confirm with
               radiculopathy).                                          your doctor if you should do these and
                                                                        which of the exercises are relevant to your
               Neck pain is commonly associated with dull               condition). The range of motion of the neck
               aching. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened           must be restored and preserved after an
               with movement of the neck. Other symptoms                injury. Perform stretching exercises as soon
               associated with some forms of neck pain include          as the acute symptoms have been
               numbness, tingling, tenderness, sharp, shooting          controlled. Patients with rheumatoid
               pain, fullness, difficulty swallowing, pulsations,       arthritis must not do neck-bending
               swishing sounds in the head, dizziness or light-         exercises unless advised to do so by a
               headedness and gland swelling.                           doctor. Perform these in the morning to
                                                                        relieve stiffness and once again at night
               What are the causes of neck pain?                        before going to bed. Expect mild, achy
                                                                        muscle pain but not sharp or electric pain.
               The causes of neck pain include:
                                                                        Do not attempt to perform these exercises
               • A herniated disc. The inner gelatine-like
                                                                        if you have a pinched nerve in your neck
                  core of the disc or the disc itself may
                                                                        (with pain and numbness into the arm and
                                                                        hand) unless recommended by your doctor.
               • Degenerative changes. Arthritis associated
                                                                    • Reduce stress. Emotional stress can
                  with the cervical spine.
                                                                        increase neck tension and interfere with or
               • Pinched nerve. Pressure on a nerve exiting
                                                                        delay the recovery process. Try to eliminate
                  the spinal column. The condition is known
                                                                        stress as much as possible by placing non-
                  as cervical radiculopathy.
                                                                        urgent jobs on hold, obtaining counselling
               • Whiplash neck injury. This follows a sudden,
                                                                        for major life stresses and seeking support
                  unexpected forward/backward thrust of
                                                                        from family, friends or healthcare providers.
                  the head and neck, typically occurring in
                                                                    • Posture. The preferred activities and body
                  motor vehicle accidents.
                                                                        positions emphasise neutral neck position
                • Muscular strain.
                                                                        and a minimum of tension across the
                                                                        supporting muscles and ligaments of the
                   How is cervical neck pain                            neck. Extremes of range of motion,
                    treated?                                            activities and body positions that cause
                     Acute therapy for axial neck pain                  constant tension must be minimised or
                     syndrome includes postural modification,           avoided.
Other forms of treatment depend on the response to the           conservative treatment strategy may be required or you may
appropriate therapy. A follow-up with your doctor should         be referred to a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon,
take place between four to six weeks unless there has been       depending on the cause.
substantial worsening of the pain or the development of
new symptoms, which would then necessitate an earlier visit      References:
to your doctor. Further treatment would depend on the            www.Uptodate.com
findings of the investigations. A more comprehensive             www.Medicinenet.com

The purpose of the following table is to record your condition-specific measures. Please read through it carefully and
record the requested data, providing as detailed and correct input as possible. One of our case managers may call
you and request this information to record it on our system. This will assist us in observing the patterns of your condition,
identifying serious changes and allowing us to give you feedback and personalised information pertaining to your
condition. If you are unsure about the information requested in the table, please do not hesitate to ask one of our
case managers to explain it to you.

    DATE       EMERGENCY              HOSPITAL           RED       YELLOW          NECK DISABILTY               NOTES
                 ROOM                ADMISSION          FLAGS*     FLAGS**         INDEX SCORE***

*    Red flags are indicators of increased risk of serious            anxiety and stress), as well as problems and/or
     back disease and pathology. Red flags include major              dissatisfaction at work. It is important that you inform
     trauma (e.g. a vehicle accident or fall from a height),          your healthcare provider if you experience any one of
     minor trauma or even just strenuous lifting in people            these feelings.
     with osteoporosis.
                                                                  *** The Neck Disability Index Score is a useful means of
** Yellow flags are the psychological aspects of back pain            measuring your difficulty in functioning due to your
   that delay recovery if not resolved. These include                 neck pain. Select from each section an option that
   "sickness behaviour" such as extended rest, the belief             accurately describes your experience. Follow the
   that pain and activity are harmful, social withdrawal,             instructions at the end of the table to determine your
   emotional problems (e.g. negative mood, depression,                score. Record it in the table provided.

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