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1. What are the common causes of neck pain?
Neck pain is a common medical complaint. As the neck bears the weight of the head and allows it to move in many directions, it is extremely vulnerable to injuries and ailments that cause pain and limit movements. The common causes of neck pain are muscle strains, nerve compression, worn joints, injuries and diseases.
2. When should I consult a doctor for neck pain?
In most instances, neck pain improves gradually with home remedies. If the neck pain is a result of an injury such as a fall, diving accident or vehicle accident, then you must immediately see the doctor. You need to contact the doctor if your neck pain is severe; if it persists for long; if it is accompanied by numbness, weakness, headache or tingling; or if it spreads down the arms or legs.
3. Who should I consult for the management of neck pain?
You may first consult your primary care physician to treat your neck pain. If required, he or she may refer you to an orthopaedic doctor. An orthopaedic doctor is trained in treating problems related to your bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves.
4. Is Ayurveda useful in treating neck pain?
Ayurveda may help treat neck pain. Ayurvedic treatment for neck pain includes massage with herbal oils, medicated steam bath, diet management and stress-relieving exercises which include muscle training. There are also various medicines prepared from Ayurvedic herbs that are prescribed for neck pain.
5. What are the treatment measures for the management of neck pain?
Mild neck pain usually responds to self-care in 2-3 weeks. For persistent pain, the treatment depends on the diagnosis but usually includes pain medicines, muscle relaxants, steroid injections, exercises, ice and heat therapy, a soft collar to support the neck, traction to gently stretch the neck and electrical stimulation for pain relief. Surgery is rarely done for neck pain.