Neck pain is one of the most common complaints in clinics and clinics, and can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, injuries, activities with prolonged neck movements and postures, muscle spasms , and other medical conditions. .
The most common problems that can cause neck pain are flu, meningitis, chronic diseases, infections, stiff neck, among many others. Let us understand below what is the problem of the stiff neck, what are the main symptoms and learn what to do and how to treat the problem.
What is the stiff neck?
Stiff neck is a fairly common problem, but one that should be handled correctly to avoid major problems. In 1912, a scientist identified and characterized the problem as a congenital or acquired deformity, characterized by tilting the head toward the shoulder, causing the neck to twist.
There are several types of torticollis, including the congenital type, which consists of a fibrous contracture of the neck muscle, being detected at birth or in the first weeks of life. Another type is dermatogenic, which occurs due to extensive skin damage in the region, mainly due to retractions during the healing process of burns.
The spasmodic type is one of the most common, due to tensions of the cervical muscles, occurring due to trauma, physical overload and even emotional problems. Vestibular type occurs due to an imbalance compensation of the body, ocular type occurs due to paralysis of extraocular muscles, rheumatic type may occur due to rheumatological diseases and, finally, spurious type is caused by fractures and degenerations in the muscles. cervical vertebrae.
The stiff neck problem can occur at any age, but is more common in middle-aged people and women. Although this is a seemingly simple problem, when there is muscle stiffness in the neck or trauma that limits muscle movement, it is important to seek the help of a physician to properly diagnose the problem.
What are the main causes and symptoms of stiff neck?
The causes related to congenital muscular torticollis are not entirely clear and are usually associated with trauma at birth or due to a wrong intrauterine position that causes muscle damage. As a result, excessive shrinkage may occur, reducing its rotational reach and lateral flexion power. Congenital torticollis is identified from 1 to 4 weeks of age by ultrasound, thus assessing the cervical movement of the baby.
The torticollis usually occurs as a result of trauma to the cervical spine or neck muscles, and may also occur following a spinal or neck injury. Stiff neck may be associated with other medical conditions and conditions such as tumors, nervous system infections, hyperthyroidism, head area infections, and many others.
In the case of acquired or non-congenital torticollis, there may be several different causes, which may result from scarring and disease of the cervical vertebrae, rheumatism, enlarged cervical glands, colds, unusual postures, adenitis, tonsillitis, tumors at the base of the skull, infections. in the pharynx and ear infections. Anxiety and stress can also be factors that cause muscle tension.
The main symptoms of the stiff neck are headaches, neck pain, difficulty moving the head, tremors, stiff neck muscles, swelling of the muscles, occasional mass formation, upper shoulder on one side of the body, among others.
How to treat the stiff neck?
It is very important that each type is correctly identified and diagnosed for the most appropriate treatment. There are different ways to treat the stiff neck that will be defined from the diagnosis and assessment of the causes of the problem and to know how long each type of treatment lasts.
The first type of treatment most commonly used is physical therapy. It basically consists of stretching and relaxing the muscles and engaging in strengthening exercises to stimulate muscle balance. This treatment solves a good part of the stiff neck problems, and it is recommended to seek a physiotherapist.
Microcurrent therapy has also been widely used, especially in cases of congenital torticollis for children at least three months old. This therapy works by sending a certain amount of electrical signals per minute around the neck, helping to restore blood flow, reducing muscle spasms and relieving the pain generated by inflammation.
The use of medications is also another type of treatment that is widely used, being recommended the use of analgesics for the most acute cases, and muscle relaxants, including the application of botulinum toxin in the region as an alternative. The most commonly used and currently available drugs on the market are betatrinta, torsilax, musculare, miosan, diprospan, duoflam, cataflampro, ketofenid, cyclobenzaprine, coltrax.
In more severe cases, surgical intervention is required, making it one of the treatment options. The surgery can be done minimally invasively and performed through laparoscopy, being recommended only to those over 12 months of age. Surgery should be indicated for the most severe cases and also when physical therapy or botulinum toxin injection has no effect.
In addition to the numerous types of treatment, prevention will always be the best of options. Knowing how to sleep properly, maintain proper posture, avoid sudden movements and also create a stretching and relaxation routine of the region can greatly help to avoid the stiff neck, which can cause a huge discomfort to the patient.
There are many ways to help with pain relief, such as using soft cervical necklaces to keep your neck immobilized, aiding in recovery. If there is a lot of pain, it is common to use heat, massage and ice to relieve neck pain, head pain and stimulate the reduction of inflammation in the area.
The stiff neck problem can have numerous causes that must be correctly diagnosed in order to choose the ideal treatment for each case. This problem can generate simple symptoms, such as pain in the region, and may also have more serious consequences, requiring in some cases, including surgical intervention.