Neck pain can include your neck feeling stiff that makes it difficult for you to turn the head from side to side, or you feel a stabbing pain in one spot in the lower part of your neck, or feeling soreness (not sharp) in the neck, or pain that is radiating to the shoulders and arms. Sometimes pain in the neck can also affect the muscles and nerves in your head, giving you pain on the sides of the head.
If neck pain symptoms continues on, it can make it difficult for you to sleep. The pain may also make it difficult to do other common things, such as getting dressed or going to work, or any activity that involves turning the head, such as driving or putting on your hijab (for ladies).
The cervical spine is a marvelous and complex structure. It is capable of supporting a head weighing 15 or more pounds while moving in several directions. No other region of the spine has such freedom of movement. This combination however, complexity and mobility, make the neck susceptible to pain and injury.
This complex structure of the neck includes 7 small vertebrae, intervertebral discs to absorb shock, joints, the spinal cord, 8 nerve roots, vascular elements, 32 muscles, and ligaments.
Neck mobility is amazing. It is capable of moving the head in many directions: 90° of flexion (forward motion), 90° of extension (backward motion), 180° of rotation (side to side), and almost 120° of tilt to either shoulder.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
Whiplash is a common injury that happens from an auto accident. The head is forced to move backward and/or forward rapidly beyond the neck’s normal range of motion. The unnatural and forceful movement affects the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Muscles react by tightening and contracting creating muscle fatigue resulting in pain and stiffness.
Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease are also known to affect the spine and cause neck pain.
Osteoarthritis is a common joint disorder causing progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming new bone (bone spurs) that impact joint motion.
Spinal stenosis can also cause neck pain. This means the nerves in the neck have become compressed and entrapped. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain and numbness when these nerves are unable to function normally.
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) can cause the intervertebral discs to become less hydrated, resulting in decreased disc elasticity and height. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate causing upper extremity pain, tingling, and numbness.
Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles disrupt the spine’s balance often causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract resulting in pain and stiffness.
HijamaHerbs for Neck Pain
Recent research published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine tested the effectiveness of hijama or cupping. The study suggests that cupping, an ancient medical technique, can effectively alleviate neck pain.
According to BioMed Central, hijama or cupping is an ancient treatment that was commonly used in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It consists of applying glass cups to the skin for five to ten minutes. The cups create suction, which helps to increase circulation or to alleviate muscle tension.
The study tested the effects of cupping on 50 patients who suffered from chronic neck pain. The individuals were asked to keep a daily pain journal and were also administered questionnaires about the severity of their pain. After a series of five cupping treatments, participants reported lowered pain sensitivity and significant improvement of pain overall. The researchers also found that the continued use of cupping made it more effective than just as a one-time treatment.
According to BMC, hijama or cupping has been shown to regularly result in pain relief and also cause a general feeling of well-being. Although the technique was widely considered effective in the past, it has not been used commonly in modern medicine, possibly due to the bruising caused by the procedure. The method has gained more popularity in recent years as a Chinese Olympic swimmer competed in 2008 with the marks left from cupping on her back, according to The Daily Mail. Some celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Paris Hilton, have also been seen with cupping marks, according to the newspaper.
HijamaHerbs is a proven natural remedy for neck pain. For more info, contact Amin Shah at 617-787-5151 or email: email@example.com