How To Treat A Shoulder And Neck Pain On Left Side
To relieve pain in the neck on your left side, you can place a warm water compress, as well as massage the region using analgesic and anti-inflammatory ointments to help relieve pain. However, if the discomfort continues or the pain is very intense, you should go to the doctor for an evaluation to verify the cause, and if necessary, determine the most appropriate treatment.
Neck pain can occur due to poor posture, excess stress or tiredness, but it can also indicate more serious problems such as a herniated disc, osteomyelitis or an infection. Its important in these more serious cases to keep an eye out for other symptoms and see a doctor for a diagnosis.
- Four Steps to Remove Neck Pain on the Left Side
- Place a warm compress
- A warm compress increases blood circulation in the region by relaxing the neck muscles.
How to do it: Wet a towel, place it in a plastic ziploc bag and place in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Next, the plastic bag should be closed, wrapped in another dry towel and applied to the neck for 20 minutes. Care must be taken to avoid burns.
To further relieve pain, painkiller essential oils such as clove oil from India, lavender oil, or peppermint oil can be placed on the towel that comes in contact with the skin.
Pinched Nerve Treatment Options
If youre reading this, odds are you have a pinched nerve or think you do.
Good news: Pain from a pinched nerve can resolve fairly quickly, says spine and neck interventional pain management specialist Dr. Kaliq Chang, with Atlantic Spine Center.
So long as you implement the right healing practices, that is. Below are 11 pinched nerve treatment options to try, depending on the exact location of your pinched nerve.
What Neck Pain On The Left Side Means
The human body is a complicated structure made of trillions of cells. These cells combine to form tissues that gather and make organs. Different organs collectively include organ systems, and these systems run our bodies.
Basic stuff, yet it all is complex, connected, and sometimes mysterious. The neck, part of the skeletal system, is crucial to our overall bodily structure. It provides support and structure to our heads, connects the cervical spinal cord to our brains, and gives home to essential blood vessels to circulate throughout our bodies. The neck muscles are exceptionally delicate, and even a minor injury or sprain can lead to dangerous results.
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What Are The Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of neck pain may be stiffness, tightness, aching, burning or stabbing or shooting pains, pressure, or tingling. Muscles can feel sore or tense in the neck, face, or shoulders. Muscles can spasm when they go into a state of extreme contraction . Movement may be restricted â perhaps you cannot turn your head. If nerves are involved, pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness may develop in your shoulders, arms or hands.
Several situations signal the need for prompt medical attention. If nerve compression is severe, symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling in the arms or legs, loss of bladder or bowel control, or loss of strength and problems with coordination.
Neck pain along with a severe headache, fever, or nausea could be a sign of infection or a bleed in the brain. If your neck is so stiff that you can’t touch your chin to chest, seek medical help immediately.
What Treatments Are Available
Healing begins with self-care and nonsurgical strategies . The goal is to correct the problem, restore function, and prevent re-injury.
Self care: Neck pain often resolves with rest, ice or heat, massage, pain relievers, and gentle stretches. Reduce muscle inflammation and pain using an ice pack for 20 minutes several times a day during the first 48 to 72 hours. Thereafter, a warm shower or heating pad on low setting may be added to relax the muscles. A short period of bed rest is okay, but more than a couple of days does more harm than good. If self-care treatments aren’t working within the first couple of days, see your doctor.
Medications: Many people get pain relief with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. A muscle relaxant may be prescribed for spasms. If pain is severe, an analgesic may be prescribed that can be taken with the NSAID or muscle relaxant.
Steroids can reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerves. They are taken orally as a Medrol dose pack tapered over a five-day period or by an injection directly into the pain source . Steroids may provide immediate pain relief within 24-hours.
Surgery: Surgery is rarely needed unless you have muscle weakness, a proven disc herniation, cervical cord compression, problems with balance and coordination, or severe pain that does not resolve after a reasonable course of nonsurgical treatment.
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Symptoms Of Pain Behind The Ear And Down The Neck
Pain down the neck and behind the ear is not a condition in itself. Ear and neck pain are usually symptomatic of other health issues and will usually be accompanied by other symptoms. For example, an ear infection can cause neck pain behind the ear on one side of your head and could be accompanied by swelling or discharge from your right or left ear.
Associated symptoms of pain behind the ear and neck can include:
- Throbbing pain in the neck and on one side of your head
- Shock-like pains at the top of your neck and behind your ear
- Redness of the ear or behind the ear that is sore to touch
- Soreness when turning your head from side to side
- Intense pain from your jaw that extends behind one ear
- An aching toothache that radiates pain to your ear
- Increased sensitivity to light along with a thumping headache
Pain In The Side Of The Neck On Left: When To See A Doctor
Are you experiencing pain in your neck? Particularly on the left side? You are not alone. Severe neck pain on the left side is a common condition. In fact, it ranks as one of the top five pains people complain about to physicians.
When this condition occurs, it can lead to endless and sleepless nights. Most of the time, severe neck pain on the left side is the result of physical exertion or sleeping in an uncomfortable position. Improper posture, when seated for long periods, is also a common cause. However, if your pain persists for a long time, you may be suffering from something more serious. Here are some of the neck pain red flags.
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Pinched Nerve From A Herniated Disc
Injury to the disc may occur when neck motion puts too much pressure on thedisc. One of the most painful injuries that can occur is a herniated disc. Inthis injury, the tear in the annulus is so bad that part of the nucleus pulposussqueezes out of the center of the disc. The annulus can tear or rupture anywherearound the disc. If it tears on the side next to the spinal canal, then whenthe nucleus pulposus squeezes out, it can press against the spinal nerves. Pressureon the nerve root from a herniated disc can cause pain, numbness, and weaknessalong the nerve. There is also evidence that the chemicals released from theruptured disc may irritate the nerve root, leading to some of the symptoms ofa herniated disc – especially pain.
Herniated discs are more common in early, middle-aged adults. This conditionmay occur when too much force is exerted on an otherwise healthy intervertebraldisc. An example would be a car accident where your head hit the windshield.The force on the neck is simply too much for even a healthy disc to absorb andinjury is the result. A herniated disc may also occur in a disc that has beenweakened by the degenerative process. Once weakened, less force is needed tocause the disc to tear or rupture. However, not everyone with a ruptured dischas degenerative disc disease. Likewise, not everyone with degenerative discdisease will suffer a ruptured disc.
Shoulder And Neck Referred Pain
Because of the close connection of the nerves serving them, shoulder and neck pain are often mistaken for one another.
You may feel a pain in the shoulder thats actually coming from your neck, and vice versa. This is called referred pain.
Some of the symptoms of referred pain from your neck include:
- stabbing, burning, or electric-like tingling pain
- pain that radiates to your shoulder blade, elbow, and hand
- pain that radiates down your arm when you twist your neck
- pain thats relieved when you support your neck
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Treatment For Spinal Stenosis
You can use over-the-counter medications to help with inflammation and pain, but if those donât do the trick, you may need stronger ones from your doctor. You also may need physical therapy or to rest your neck for a time. If your pain is severe or you have a hard time moving, your doctor may recommend surgery to take the pressure off your spine.
Cat Scan Cervical Stenosis
Myelography is used to evaluate an area of the spine called the subarachnoidspace. Myelography is used to find herniated discs, injury to the spinal nerveroots, or tumors. During this test, a special dye, which can be seen on theX-ray, is injected into the spinal sac. Because the dye weighs more than spinalfluid, the movement of the dye can be watched as the table is tilted up anddown. By watching the movement of the dye, the doctor can see the outline ofthe subarachnoid space. If the shape of the spinal sac looks abnormal, or indented,this may mean there is pressure on the nerves of the spine. A herniated discmay cause this pressure.
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What Kinds Of Surgery Are Used For Neck Pain
There are two common types of cervical spine surgeries performed to relieve neck pain:
Removing the tissue that is pressing against a nerve structure.
Stabilization: Limiting the motion between vertebrae. , involves the surgeon using plates, screws, bones and other materials to limit motion between the vertebrae in order to stabilize the spine.
There are different types of decompression procedures, including:
Discectomy: The surgeon removes all or part of a damaged disc.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion :Often thought of as the gold standard in cervical spine surgery, involves removing a damaged disc to relieve nerve root or spinal cord pressure. Your surgeon will insert a graft to fuse together the bones above and below the disc.
Cervical disc replacement: Also known as artificial disc replacement or total disc arthroplasty, this procedure involves removing the damaged cervical disc along with any bone spurs and replacing it with a metal or polymer prosthetic.
Corpectomy: The vertebral body is removed to access whatever is compressing the spinal cord or nerve.
Transcorporeal Microdecompression : The surgeon accesses the cervical spine from the front of the neck. TCMD is performed through a small channel made in the vertebral body to access and decompress the spinal cord and nerve. This restores normal spacing in the spinal cord while preserving the disc.
Foraminotomy: Removes bone spurs that are pressing on a nerve.
Some Less Common Causes Of Neck Pain Include:
Degeneration of the cervical disc
Vertebral bones have discs between them that act like cushions or shock absorbers. These discs are flexible but rigid, but they get weak with the passage of time or injury, and their outer covering, known as annulus fibrosus, can tear with time. As it breaks or degenerates, the internal fluid of the disc comes out and accumulates on the spinal cord.
Meningitis can lead to headaches, muscle stiffness, and neck pain. It is inflammation caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungus. If it is left untreated, meningitis can cause complications like seizures and brain swelling.
The first seven bones of the vertebrae are called cervical vertebrae. Breakage or fracture of any of these bones due to injury, accident, sports, or any other reason can result in a broken neck, accompanied by severe pain.
Herniated cervical disk
When the outer covering of the cervical disc gets damaged or wears out, nerves get pressed, which pushes the nucleus to one side. This condition is known as a herniated cervical disc. Pressure on the nerves causes numbness, stiffness, and arm and neck pain.
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Limit How Long You Look At A Smartphone
Constantly looking down at your phone can pull on your neck muscles, putting a constant strain on them, and sometimes leading to pain. This phenomenon has even earned its own term: tech neck, or text neck.
A small 2019 study of 500 university students in Jordan found that the length of mobile phone use was positively correlated with increased pain severity and duration.
Researchers found that more than 24 percent of students assigned their neck pain a score greater than 4 on the 11-point Numeric Rating Scale for pain, indicating moderate pain or worse.
Overall, the authors stressed the importance of being mindful of how using mobile devices can contribute to neck pain and that changing positions and reducing the usage duration may be advised.
If you have to use your smartphone often, try some of these tips to reduce your neck strain:
- Hold your phone at eye level.
- Dont hold your phone between your shoulder and your ear.
- Use earbuds or headphones.
Treatment Of Neck Pain On The Left Side
Most of the treatments depend on the severity and diagnosis. For mild pain, take a hot bath or shower. You can also try using a hot water bottle, neck massage, use of a neck pillow. It will relax neck muscles and give you relief.
If recommended by a doctor, you can seek a physiotherapist’s help. He will give you tips for better posture, movement through various exercises.
If neck pain is prolonged, doctors might give corticosteroid injections to you. These lessen the pain and inflammation in the neck.
When the neck bones are fractured, or nerve cords are severely compressed, surgery is usually the answer. However, minor fractures usually only need a neck collar as treatment.
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How Is The Neck Structured
Your neck and back are made up of small bones called vertebrae. These are stacked on top of each other to form the spinal column.
The spinal column supports your head and protects the spinal cord. This is the main structure which links the network of nerves throughout your body. Messages travel along this network sending sensations, such as pain, to your brain.
The top seven bones in the spinal column form your neck, and these are called the cervical vertebrae. The bones are linked together by facet joints. These are small joints between your vertebrae that, together with your neck muscles, allow you to move your head in any direction.
Between the vertebrae are discs of cartilage. The discs act as shock absorbers and give the spine its flexibility. A slipped disc occurs when one of these discs slips slightly out of its natural position in the spine.
Change Your Sleep Position
Getting a good nights sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
The position you sleep in at night can also affect your neck. Sleeping on your side or your back can put less strain on your neck than sleeping on your stomach . However, in side sleeping, the alignment of your thoracic and cervical spine is important for preventing neck pain.
A 2017 study found that lying supine with your dominant hand raised by your forehead was associated with increased neck pain in participants. Side sleeping with a good pillow for proper alignment was identified as enhancing sleep quality.
Certain pillows claim to provide extra neck support. These claims arent always backed up by science, but many people find the right pillow can make a difference in their necks comfort during sleep. You might also consider changing your mattress.
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Urgent Advice: Phone 111 If:
- there has been a new, significant trauma within the last 7 days, for example a fall from height or direct blow to the head or neck area
- feel numbness, pins and needles or weakness that is worsening in one or both arms
- have problems with your balance or walking since your neck pain started
- develop blurred vision, ringing in your ears or dizziness that doesn’t go away within 48 hours
Find Out What’s Causing Your Chronic Neck Pain
The best way to know whats causing your chronic neck pain: Schedule an office visit at Premier Spine Institute so Dr. Bonaventure Ngu can perform a thorough physical exam and evaluation. Its the first step toward feeling better and preventing more serious problems. Book an appointment online today.
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How To Ease A Panic Attack
Panic disorder is a mental health problem that can be treated. Your doctor may recommend psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. If its an ongoing problem, there are some medications that might help.
In order to ease a panic attack, you might find it helpful to:
- practice stress management and relaxation techniques
- join a support group
- a burning sensation in your upper abdomen and chest
- sour or metallic taste in your mouth
- stomach contents flowing up to the back of your throat
Heartburn generally happens fairly soon after youve eaten. It can also happen when you lie down within a few hours of eating. It can even wake you from a sound sleep.
Acid reflux can sometimes progress to a more severe form called gastroesophageal reflux disease . The main symptom of GERD is frequent heartburn. In addition to chest pain, GERD can also cause coughing, wheezing, and trouble swallowing.