Neck spasms – symptoms and treatment

Neck spasms – symptoms and treatment

A neck spasm is a painful, involuntary contraction of the muscles in the neck. Neck spasms can be caused by many things, including poor posture while working or sleeping, injury, stress or overuse of the affected muscles. In this post, we’ll discuss the symptoms of neck spasms and their duration, as well as diagnosis and treatment strategies. While neck spasms are not fun to deal with, they are not a permanent condition, and can be easily treated if attended to promptly.

What happens when your neck spasms?

When your neck muscles spasm, you probably feel them tighten, becoming hard and stiff. The muscles that run between your shoulders and the base of your head can experience neck spasms that lead to painful headaches in some people. You may feel hard bump in the muscles of your neck even after the initial spasm has stopped. Some people call these ‘knots’ or ‘trigger spots.’ Applying pressure to these bumps might cause you to feel pain in other parts of your body – this is a result of their proximity to nerves that stretch to your extremities, but the bumps themselves aren’t really a threat to your health.

How long will neck spasms last?

Neck spasms can cause pain that lasts several days, or as little as a few hours.

What should you do when you experience neck spasms?

You will need to let your neck rest, and not be very active until the muscle has had the chance to completely heal. If you try to do too much before your neck muscles have fully healed, you can cause your neck to spasm again, increasing the amount of time you will need to recover completely. Fortunately, you have an excellent indicator of what too much is when you are dealing with neck spasms – if it hurts, don’t do it. It’s that simple.

If you suspect that you might be having neck spasms, still go see your doctor. There are several conditions which can cause symptoms that might feel like neck spasms, but may be potentially more serious. Your doctor will most likely ask you a few basic questions, and conduct a brief physical exam in order to confirm the diagnosis of neck spasms. If he or she suspects a different condition, then diagnostic imaging may also be needed before a diagnosis can be made.

How do you treat neck spasms?

There are many effective methods available for the treatment of neck spasms. A combination of your personal preferences and your doctor’s observations will help to determine the way that your neck spasms are addressed. The most basic treatment options include stretching, rest, and heat or cold therapy.

If these methods don’t do much to improve the pain caused by your neck spasms, slightly more aggressive therapies such as massage, physical therapy, or prescription medication may be tried. In extreme cases, your physician may recommend a cortisone or anesthetic injection directly into the affected muscle(s). For individuals whose spasms appear related to mood disorders or stress, therapies for stress management may help reduce the occurrence of future neck spasms. Regardless of how difficult the pain is now, it luckily won’t last long.

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