A Daily Havoc Named Frontal Neck Pain
Ever heard of tech neck? Neck pain can arise due to a number of problems with the neck muscles, tissues, nerves, ligaments, vertebrae and spinal discs. Front neck pain also arises from a number of other situations, such as some chronic diseases, improper posture, high air pollution, over exercised neck muscles, or under-exercised neck muscles, throat cancer, etc. When it goes too far, it can manifest itself as pain in your shoulders or head along with the neck, sometimes even partially restricting your movements.
Causes and remedies for pain in the front of the neck
1. Simple Muscle Spasm
Sometimes the root cause of frontal neck pain is as simple as a muscle spasm, which goes away by itself with time. If you want to expedite pain relief, then you can apply some cold/hot compresses or perform mild exercises. Simple muscle spasms are mostly caused by poor posture, over-exertion of the neck muscles, or even some jerky movements.
Laryngitis is an infection which causes an inflammation of the larynx. The most common cause is a viral infection of the upper airways. Frequently air pollution can be responsible for this. It is most often accompanied by a feeling of swelling, discomfort and pain in the front of the neck.
3. Traumatic Injury
Whiplash is another frequent contributor to the list of frontal neck pain causes. During whiplash, many soft tissue injuries can occur to the neck. Although this can affect the back of the neck also, whiplash normally causes pain only in the front of the neck.
This is a bone and joint condition which usually develops with aging. It can cause swelling in the front part of the neck as well, leading to pain in the affected area.
5. Throat Cancer
Malignant lesions most commonly occur in the pharynx, voice box or tonsils in throat cancer. These ultimately cause severe pain in the front of the neck.
Although a less common cause, frontal neck pain can occur as a result of meningitis, which is a very deadly disease and must be treated quickly.
What to do…
The first measures which most of us turn to our simple home remedies.
- Bath Salts
Bath salts are easily available in the market and used for relaxation and aroma. In case of pain in the front of your neck, these can act as catalysts in reducing stress and tension in the muscle by improving blood circulation.
- Mild Exercises
Sometimes, the pain is very mild, perhaps due to simple fatigue. This can easily be treated with the help of very mild exercises, like moving the neck back and forth slowly. When performed regularly, these also improve neck muscle strength in the long run.
- Hot Compress
Heating pads or any other type of hot compress helps in improving blood circulation, which releases tension and reduces pain.
- Cold Compress
Cold compress packs usually make the affected area numb, so that you don't feel pain and can perform very minor exercise of the area, or buy you time for your OTC drugs to work. This is always considered better than hot compresses.
- OTC Drugs
Many over-the-counter drugs are easily available. If you know that your pain is due to fatigue or stress, you can take these very easily. Sometimes, a GP appointment could take a couple of days, and you can go for OTC medicines while waiting for your appointment.
If you have the slightest feeling that you are unsure of the reason for your pain, or you feel that the pain is not going away even after prolonged use of home remedies, or you notice some kind of swelling in the front of your neck, or blood when you gargle, you must immediately rush to a doctor. The human body is so complex, and diseases so eccentric and overlapping in symptoms, that you must never ignore unexplained or severe symptoms. The most common symptoms when you must see a doctor as soon as possible include:
- Swelling in the neck or throat
- Blood when you gargle
- Vomiting and nausea
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness/ tingling in your arms
- Trouble Walking
- Weakness radiating into the shoulder areas
Corticosteroids( have anti-inflammatory properties), Antibiotics( fights infection), Humidifiers (prevents dryness and helps in breathing), Inhalers (deep insertion of medication by dilating airways), are some of the measures used by doctors in the treatment of Laryngitis.
- Traumatic Injury
These are mostly taken care with Surgery or, in some less severe conditions, braces or collars might be used. However, Analgesics are also required most of the time.
- Throat Cancer
Radiation, Chemotherapy, and Analgesics with supportive medicine can be administered to patients with throat cancer
Antibiotics, Antipyretic and Anti-Emetics are the common lines of treatment in this case.
Anti-inflammatories and Analgesics along with Muscle Relaxants are prescribed here.
- Try to keep the air moist by using humidifiers regularly.
- Inhaling steam regularly even for 5 to 7 minutes once daily prevents a number of infections from occurring in the first place.
- Exercise the neck regularly by moving it back and forth slowly around 10-15 times every day.
- Avoid slouching and maintain proper posture.
- Maintain a healthy body weight so that your spine is not subject to over stress.
- Give regular massages to the neck area.
- If you are prone to tech neck, then take short frequent breaks for 1 to 2 minutes after every hour or so of work.
- Avoid over usage of air conditioners as they cause dryness in the atmosphere which can sometimes result in pain in the front of your neck.
- Give your voice a rest from speech when you feel the slightest hint of discomfort.
- Yoga and Pilates also help to prevent frontal neck muscle pain.
- Wear proper seat belts while driving as a safety precaution to avoid disastrous whiplashes.
- Avoid smoking as it leads to throat cancer which in turn causes neck pain. If you cannot completely say no to smoking, then at least say a 100% no to second-hand smoke.
- Avoid icing cold drinks as they can also lead to laryngitis, especially in young children and the elderly.
- Whenever you lift heavy items, do so slowly and safely, so that the spinal discs are not harmed.
- Avoid eating spicy foods as these often cause irritation to the vocal cords which could lead to any number of infections.
So, we clearly see that frontal neck muscle pain has become a serious health issue these days, with an alarming number of people suffering from it. There are a number of conditions which cause neck pain, laryngitis, or simply stiffness, and there is a number of precautionary measures you can take, such as proper posture, seat belts, avoiding smoking, etc. Always be careful and, when you must, visit your doctor.