Neck arthritis is a common complaint of Americans, particularly as they age. Wear and tear in the neck are widespread and can often be quite painful. In fact, neck pain is the third most common pain complaint among Americans and much of it can be attributed to arthritis. Although this condition cannot be cured, you can take steps to control the pain and stiffness.
Obviously, living with a stiff and painful neck makes it difficult to do many daily activities. Simply typing on a computer can be uncomfortable because you have to turn your head. Moving your head while driving to check for oncoming traffic can be excruciating. As a result, pain management is a big part of living with neck arthritis. While some over-the-counter medications can provide relief, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory to help. Prescription strength ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and discomfort. If your pain is more severe, you may be given stronger pain meds, although any opioid medication must be closely monitored and used for only a brief time. Your doctor may also prescribe a muscle relaxant or a corticosteroid injection.
Fortunately, exercises have been found effective for retaining mobility as well as lessening pain. Stretches have long been prescribed to retain range of motion as well as restore flexibility, but new studies show that weight training exercises can really help with neck arthritis management. Exercises using a neck band can build up your neck and shoulder muscles and provide long-term relief. Up to three-quarters of women who used strength training reported that much, if not all, of their neck issues were resolved. The results lasted for at least a year after the initial study was completed.
If you have difficulty performing exercises by yourself, you should seek the help of a physical therapist. In some instances, your insurance may cover this assistance. Even if it does not, restoring mobility and lessening pain is well worth the price of professional help.
If you have chronic neck pain, you may have neck arthritis. The weight of your head in addition to the wear and tear of aging can simply be too much for your neck. Seek the advice of your physician and use pain relief medication if it is indicated. Also, take the time to exercise your neck regularly to maintain your range of motion and reduce your pain. You can manage neck arthritis with medical help and some personal effort. For more information, contact a clinic like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates.