Anyone that has ever had the unpleasant experience of having a muscle spasm knows how painful it is and a neck muscle spasm is no different. A neck muscle spasm is an involuntary tight muscle contraction that causes a person to experience severe neck pain. There are many causes and treatments for severe neck pain.
Severe neck pain is often the result of strained neck muscles caused by things such as intense exercises, degenerative changes from repetitive movements and trauma. The cervical spine, unlike the rest of your spine, only has a small amount of ligaments and muscles for protection. Conditions that have an adverse affect on the muscles and tendons often cause severe neck pain. If the joints narrow between the neck bones, caused by immune system attack, prolonged wear and tear or trauma, then the vertebrae in the neck grind together, creating stress and pressure on localized tendons, muscles, and nerves. This often causes severe neck pain and other symptoms such as arm, shoulder, and hand pain.
Some of several symptoms of severe neck pain include rupture of a disk or muscular strain from trauma. Many neck pain symptoms, unlike severe neck pain, develop slowly. Some people experience neck tenderness or stiffness in the morning or after watching television, reading, or working on their computer. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause the body’s immune system or natural defenses to attack a person’s joints and bones. Over time, the rheumatoid arthritis destroys body and neck joints causing stiffness and severe pain to the neck and other parts of the body. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease commonly affecting people over forty, can involve not only the neck joint but also other body joints. Neurological diseases such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease can cause stiffness or weakness of the neck muscles resulting in strain on the necks structures and muscles, resulting in severe neck pain.
Treatment for severe neck pain or chronic neck pain can vary depending upon the case. Some people find acupressure and acupuncture helps the muscles relax, which reduces their neck pain. For severe neck pain, doctors sometimes recommend strong anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and painkillers. Anti-inflammatory drugs taken orally or by injection are usually only recommended in severe neck pain cases because serious side effects, such as infections, bone thinning, and internal bleeding can occur. Some doctors may recommend an over-the-counter drug that has few side effects but often reduce stiffness and discomfort for people suffering from mild neck pain. Never take any medication or start a neck exercise program without talking to your doctor first.