Why is my neck constantly painful

Neck pain

Treatment for neck pain depends on the cause. If there is a certain underlying disease, for example a herniated disc or rheumatism, doctors always treat this first. Then the neck pain often also improves. In addition, those affected can do a lot themselves to alleviate their neck pain or to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Classification of neck pain - acute or chronic?

Neck pain usually goes away after a few weeks, but not always. Some patients have to deal with pain permanently - then the symptoms have become chronic. Depending on the duration of the pain, doctors differentiate:

  • Acute neck pain: up to three weeks
  • Subacute pain: between four and twelve weeks
  • Chronic neck pain: longer than twelve weeks

Exercises for neck pain

A lack of exercise and improper exercise are the most common causes of neck pain. Both causes can be tackled in a targeted manner: with a lot of exercise in everyday life as well as with a targeted one Stretching and strengthening training (Best shown by a physiotherapist). These exercises strengthen and relax the muscles in the neck and shoulders and improve their mobility. In the long term, good muscles are the best protection against neck pain.

The following neck pain exercises, which you can also do at home, strengthen your neck muscles:

  • Stand up straight with your arms hanging down and your shoulders lower. Then slowly raise both outstretched arms until they are at a right angle from your body (like the wings of an airplane).

Important: pull your shoulders down, keep your arms straight and pay attention to the pull in the neck and arms (only as it is still comfortable). Hold the position for two to three minutes. It is best to practice several times a day.

  • Lean against the wall and press the back of your head and shoulders firmly against the surface. Also push the area of ​​the cervical spine towards the wall, but only so far that you still find it comfortable.

Hold the pressure for two to three minutes. It is best to repeat the exercise several times a day. A little tip: As a passenger in the car, you can exercise with the car seat as a surface.

More exercise in everyday life relieves neck pain

If you sit a lot at work or at home, you should bring more exercise into your everyday life:

  • Change your sitting position on the chair more often (dynamic sitting).
  • Get up from time to time and loosen up your muscles, for example by doing stretching exercises (applies to arms, shoulder girdle, neck).
  • To make a call, get up and take a few steps back and forth.
  • Do not only work while sitting, but sometimes at a standing desk.
  • If you want to speak to your colleague instead of calling them, run into the office next door.
  • Take a walk after your lunch break, because this not only gets your digestion going, but also your muscles.
  • Ergonomic measures at the workplace: These include the correct seat height at the desk, the position of the back of the chair, the distance from the chair to the keyboard or the height of the screen. There are also ergonomic work aids, for example keyboards, mice or mouse pads, which allow a neutral arm position and prevent pain in the shoulders and neck.

Overall, be more physically active and do you do sports regulary. Endurance sports such as jogging, (Nordic) walking, swimming (back instead of breaststroke!) Or a brisk walk are good. When cycling, do not keep your head bowed low. There are bicycles on which you sit relatively upright, for example city bikes or Dutch bicycles. Also a Strength and fitness training (e.g. fitness studio, outpatient rehabilitation center, back sports group), in which you specifically train the shoulder, back and neck muscles, can prevent neck pain.

One is also helpful Back school, in which correct sitting or lifting heavy loads is learned. Many statutory health insurances subsidize such courses.

Besides that, you can gentle movement training such as yoga, pilates, tai chi or qigong help with neck pain. Breathing exercises that relax, calm down, and relieve stress can also help with neck pain. They are already a part of yoga and co.

Relaxation techniques for neck pain

Sometimes stress, emotional stress, fears and worries make the muscles tense and trigger neck pain. Help against it Relaxation methods like autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson. Many adult education centers, sports clubs and some fitness studios offer courses in relaxation techniques. It is best to learn the exercises from a professional first. You can then do this anywhere, including in the office, on the bus or on the tram.

If psychological stress is the reason for your neck pain: Conversations with a psychotherapist can help to free yourself from the emotional ballast that weighs on the neck.

Medication for neck pain

Acute neck pain can be remedied in most cases with short term anti-inflammatory drugs Painkillers alleviate. Ibuprofen and diclofenac are among the best-known active ingredients from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A neck pain ointment is suitable for local application to the skin.

Next to it are muscle relaxing drugs (Muscle relaxants), but not recommended for neck pain. Examples of active ingredients approved in Germany are methocarbamol and tizanidine.

Injections are also not recommended for neck pain local narcotics (Local anesthetics) in the painful area of ​​the body. Doctors also do not recommend injecting anti-inflammatory cortisone. The effectiveness of syringes with these agents has not been well studied and they have some risks.