March 26, 2010

Cervical Pain: Treatment and Causes

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Cervical pain refers to discomfort felt in the neck due to excessive pressure applied on or from the cervical vertebrae that are present in the region. Seven vertebrae form the building blocks of the spinal cord in the region of the neck. The nerves of the neck pass close to these vertebrae and the discs lie between them. Structural tissue of the neck includes the muscles, arteries, veins, lymph and thyroid glands, the larynx and the trachea. Any condition that would affect these vital parts could lead to cervical or neck pains.

The most common condition affecting the cervical vertebrae is whiplash. Whiplash refers to a sudden forward and backward jerk of the neck, beyond its natural limits, as is most commonly observed in the case of automobile accidents. Frictional rubbing of the vertebrae is another common cause for cervical pain. The vertebrae are separated by cartilage, which is a cushion like material. With wear and tear of the cartilage, the cushioning decreases, leading to frictional rubbing of the vertebrae. Frictional rubbing of the vertebrae is also a possible cause for the existence of bone spurs that grow out of the vertebrae as a defense mechanism, but could lead to serious internal damage and discomfort.

Cervical Neck Pain Treatment

To ease the discomfort caused by cervical pain in the neck, it is advisable that the use of a pillow be avoided. Instead, place a rolled towel under the neck while sleeping, as it gives support to the neck and reduces pain. Exercise patterns that involve a gentle raising and releasing of the shoulders, ease the pain and relax muscular tension. Similarly, movement of the head from left to right and back and slowly looking down and up will be of some help in relieving pain. Meals should be taken four times a day and consist of milk, a raw vegetable salad, whole wheat bread, sprouts and a steamed vegetable. The intake of phosphorous, proteins, vitamin C, vitamin D and calcium must be ensured. Sour, fatty and spicy foods must be avoided as these foods cause inflammation of damaged tissues. Garlic is known for its anti inflammatory properties and should be added to the daily diet. Oil, made from garlic cloves can be applied to the affected area and washed off while taking a bath in order to relieve inflammation and discomfort. A hot fermentation, placed around the affected area of the neck, just after a hot bath, will relieve pain and muscular tension, putting one at ease.