Neck pain can happen to anyone at almost any time. Although it is often caused by a pinched nerve or simply from overexertion of muscles in the neck, shoulders and upper back, there are sometimes other causes such as auto accident or overtraining when moving. Not all neck or upper back pain requires surgery. This is where conservative care can help.
What is Conservative Care?
Conservative care is basically any treatment option that does not require surgery. Conservative care, especially for neck, shoulder, and upper back can include measures such as massage therapy, chiropractic therapy from a licensed chiropractor, stretching exercises and over-the-counter relievers.
Often, neck and upper back pain occurs from overexertion of the muscles. Although painful, most times it is not debilitating and can be relieved using specialized conservative techniques.
Other Causes and Treatments
Sometimes, the symptoms can be caused by a pinched nerve or in severe cases, from sciatica or a bulging spinal disk. Sometimes the muscles and tendons around the nerve, whether in the back, shoulder or neck, become swollen and it is difficult to move.
Conservative care can help through the various massage therapies and stretching exercises that a chiropractor or massage therapist could use with the patient.
When the symptoms are caused from sciatica, conservative care practitioners can help with spinal and stretching exercises such as bridges and planks and various stretching exercises for the back and abdominal muscles. Whirlpool and hot water therapy may also help alleviate the pain, as well as over-the-counter relievers.
Maintaining a healthy weight and keeping the body healthy may also help alleviate back and neck pain. When there is too much weight against the spine, the back and spinal muscles must work harder to not only carry the extra weight, but help the weight move as well.
Athletes sometimes experience back and neck pain because of overexertion. A hot shower with a massaging shower head or a hot therapy whirlpool can help alleviate the pain and bring the swelling down, but sometimes a chiropractor or physical therapist must be contacted to make sure there is not further muscular or tendon damage.
Exercises for Therapy
Chiropractors and physical therapists may also train patients in light stretching and strengthening exercises, which may help the back, spinal, shoulder and neck muscles work more efficiently and work more fluidly to support physical activity. Some of these exercises may be planks, bridges, and abdominal exercises, which help support and strengthen spinal and back muscles.
Conservative care is a good way to alleviate neck and back pain. Sometimes physical therapy is necessary, and sometimes the pain can be alleviated with massage or water therapy. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help as well, but just as with any overworked muscle, rest and relaxation help the most.