In this article we’ll cover what muscle spasms in neck are, their causes, symptoms, treatment and how to prevent their occurrence in future.
Muscle Spasms in Neck | What are they?
In defining what neck muscle spasms are, we need to start with the definition of a muscle spasm. A muscle spasm is a contraction of a specific muscle or a contraction of a group of muscles which occurs suddenly. Muscle spasm may or may not be painful in most cases.
Neck muscle spasms refer to contraction of muscles in the neck area especially those surrounding the cervical spine. The cervical spine is the most vulnerable area of the neck as it engages a lot of the weight of the head.
Causes of Muscle Spasms in Neck
Muscle spasms in the neck result from the following;
- Bad posture,
- Prolonged head positioning either during painting, reading, driving long distances and other tasks that require holding the neck forward.
- Whiplash injury
- Stress and Tension e.t.c
Symptoms of Muscle Spasms in Neck
You experience pain and stiffness in your neck muscles, stress in the cervical spine going all the way to shoulder muscles. The spasms tend to become painful and could also result in headaches and pain spreading even in the shoulder blades.
The pain in the neck muscle spasm may affect other areas of the body making you feel tired and stressed out.
Treatment of Muscle Spasms in Neck
Treatment could be in various forms some that you could implement on your own, others that require use of a helpmate and others that require physician interventions.
Those forms that you could do on your own are exercises and application of cold or hot agents during massage. You need a helpmate to give you a good massage and reach the areas in the neck that you can’t reach by yourself.
Where this does not work the physician comes in with medical solutions which include medicines and/or physiotherapy.
Using Exercise to Relieve Neck Spasm
Here there are neck muscle stretches you could implement to break the muscles contraction. You could turn your head back and forward slowly then from side to side. There are several yoga stretches you could take advantage of and relieve the spasm.
Massage and Physiotherapy
Both will help you deal with the front and back muscles well. They are mostly recommended since it is hard for you to reach the back neck muscles in times of pain. You need a helpmate to massage the neck muscles with focus on the cervical spine.
Physiotherapy is better since it is done by health professionals who already know what areas need to be dealt with. The physiotherapist will attend to neck muscles together with the shoulder muscles to ensure success in dealing with the spasm.
Where the doctor feels that the pain requires medicinal interventions to reduce the pains he/she will recommend either an anti-inflammatory medicine or a muscle relaxants. They are sometimes available over the counters but best when prescribed.
Prevention of Muscle Spasms in Neck
Always watch out for your head position and ensure you have a good posture, try changing the head position every time it becomes uncomfortable. The body sometimes tries to send signals of discomfort that need to be obeyed.
Stretch and exercise the neck muscles to ensure they are always in the desired condition. Daily exercise and a good diet will go a long way in helping improve your neck muscles and avoid spasms.
Deal with the specific cause of the neck spasm, if the cause is as a result of stress and body or muscle tension, or psychological stress then deal with the underlying problems.
When you start experiencing signs of neck muscle spasms mentioned above then all you need is to proceed on with the necessary indicated actions without fail.