It is important to note that the cervical spine is comprised of vertebrae that extend from the base of the skull up to the upper part of the torso. The surrounding ligaments and muscles are responsible for providing motion and stability. A common injury to this area is a pinched nerve that can be caused by disc damage, bony deposits and tight muscles. This can lead to acute or chronic pain as well as distressing radiating neck pain starting at the base of the neck up to the scalp and down to the arms. The radiating neck pain can also be accompanied by dizziness, headache, and stiff muscles around the neck, numbness and tingling sensation. Take note that the range of motion as well as the mobility of the individual is affected.
Common modes of treatment
- You can apply heat on the affected area. With a warm towel, place it on the neck to help relax the cervical muscles while at the same time relieving the pain.
- Perform a light massage on the affected neck muscles using oil or soothing creams. Make sure that the massage is performed along the side and not directly on the spine.
- Encourage the individual to rest and use a neck collar. This will allow the muscles in the neck to relax and eventually recover.
It is also recommended to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist so that manual traction is carried out. This will help open up the cervical foramen in order to soothe the radiating neck pain. Other modes of treatment include acupuncture and acupressure since both can help relieve the pain while at the same time relaxes the neck muscles.
Home remedies for radiating neck pain
Instruct the individual to sit or stand comfortably with the neck in neutral position. The individual must tuck his/her chin to the chest and hold the head with his/her hands. Instruct him/her to inhale while slowly flexing the neck until facing down to the floor. Once the back of the neck is stretched, hold for about five seconds. After five seconds, the individual must exhale while going back to the neutral position and then relax. This must be repeated 5-10 times or as tolerated by the individual.
There is another exercise routine that can help ease the pain. The individual can either sit or stand with the neck in neutral position. The individual must slowly elevate his/her shoulders as high as possible. Hold in place for ten seconds and then relax. This must be repeated 10 times.
The best way to minimize the pain, inflammation and irritation of the neck area due to the radiating neck pain is to provide medications. It is recommended to provide NSAIDs to the individual. For proper management of pain, you can enroll in a first aid class.
Muscle relaxants can also be given in case the individual experiences severe stiffness of the cervical muscles. In some cases, the pain can be depressing that some individuals might be given anti-depressants.