Cervical spine pain: where does it come from and how do you treat it?

Not only can cervical spine issues cause pain in the neck, but also in other areas of the body.

The pain associated with the cervical spine is one of the most prevalent across all age groups. However, neck issues do not always cause pain only in this location. If you are experiencing pain at the base of your head, in your shoulders, or even in your hands, it may be related to your cervical spine.

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Cervical spine: structure

It is comprised of seven vertebrae arranged in an arch that connect the head to the chest. This segment of the spine is the most mobile. The first vertebra supports the head, and the second vertebra allows us to move the head.

The cervical vertebrae are the most fragile of the vertebrae. This portion of the spine deteriorates rapidly, which explains why neck problems are common in young people. Pain that isn’t taken seriously can lead to serious diseases, so it’s important to listen to what the body is telling you.

Where does this back pain come from?

Not only does the cervical region carry the head, but it also transfers the head’s weight and the forces that arise when we jump, run, or move the head. Sitting in the wrong position for a long time in front of a computer or TV puts a lot of stress on this part of the body.

The tissues become inadequately supplied with blood, and the joints become less nourished, which accelerates their deterioration. A sedentary lifestyle and poor posture habits accelerate the cervical spine degeneration process.

The blood supply to the tissues gets too low, and the joints get less food, which makes them break down more quickly. A sedentary lifestyle and bad posture habits speed up the wear and tear on the cervical spine.

What to do when it hurts

What we should do when experiencing such pain depends on a number of factors, including whether it is acute (which typically lasts 3-6 weeks) or chronic. In addition to pharmacotherapy, a cervical collar is used for the former. In the second phase, rehabilitation treatments such as physiotherapy and acupressure are administered. In many instances, the patient is referred for cervical spine rehabilitation.

It is also important to prevent problems with the cervical spine. If you remember a few rules every day, there is a chance that you will protect yourself from problems with this section of the spine.

How to care for the cervical spine?

  • If you work at a computer, take regular breaks, stretch, and change your position,
  • Set the monitor properly (at eye level, so as not to slouch and scratch your head) and the chair in relation to the desk: feet on the ground, knees bent at 90 degrees, back straight,
  • Exercise at least three times a week; swimming and special exercises for the spine are safe for the back ,
  • Do not sleep on too high or too low a pillow.