Cervical back pain is essentially related to the neck and it occurs whenever the neck is overstrained or over extended. The complex structure of the cervical spine that supports the head is composed of seven vertebrae and is capable of moving the head in several directions. But in spite of the strong support, the mobility and complexity of the spine makes the neck vulnerable to a lot of strain and injuries. Any kind of strain and injury caused to neck can result in back pain.
Cause of Cervical Back Pain
An injury to the neck can cause cervical back pain. When the neck is hyperflexed or hyperextended, an injury called whiplash can occur, which tightens and contracts the muscles surrounding the neck and causes pain.
People above the age of 40-45 years commonly suffer from cervical back pain. As you age, your neck pain increases and this result in cervical back pain. In most cases, cervical back pain occurs when aging is accompanied by degenerative disorders of spine like osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disorders and spinal stenosis. Cervical back pain and neck pain can interfere with your daily activities and mobility.
Poor posture while sitting, standing, sleeping or walking can be one of the main reasons for cervical back pain. Poor posture creates an imbalance in our cervical vertebrae.
Due to incorrect posture, our neck bends forward to over-compensate, which creates imbalance in our back and results in cervical back pain. Weakened abdominal muscle and obesity can also put extra stress on our neck, which tightens and contracts the muscles and result in cervical back pain.
Cervical back pain and neck pain should not be ignored. Prolonged pain can be an indication of some serious problem. Spinal cord compression, spinal infection, tumor or fracture can occur. Seeking medical attention is necessary.
Obtaining proper diagnosis is crucial. Patient’s medical history is taken into account while diagnosing cervical back pain. Physical examination includes the observation of patient’s physical condition, posture etc., whereas the neurological examination involves patient’s muscle strength, reflexes etc. If required, x-ray and MRIs are conducted to estimate the damage.
Treatment of Cervical Back Pain
Increasing the strength of the back and neck muscles by performing exercise is the best way to treat and cure cervical back pain. Regular exercise strengthens the back and neck muscle and reduces pain in this region.
Chronic cervical back pain can be treated with painkillers prescribed by doctor or over-the-counter painkillers. Acetaminophen or aspirins are often recommended.
Massage therapy and hydrotherapy can also help to alleviate the pain. If you are suffering from serious cervical pain issues, you need to consult an expert. Muscle relaxants and narcotics are often prescribed to treat cervical back pain.
Massaging can stimulate blood flow and relieve the patient from pain. Hot shower and hot bath can also bring relief.
Improving the posture will also help to get rid of cervical back pain. Learn and practice yoga posture from an expert yoga instructor to correct your posture. Try to sleep on your back without using a pillow. Cervical pillows are also available to help relieve pressure on the back and neck region. Cervical traction devices are also available in the market to provide relief from pain.