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What is Chronic Neck Pain:
Chronic neck pain occurs if a condition is left in the neck that has not healed 100%. If this happens certain activities can irritate the neck re-exacerbating the pain. Chronic pain can be pain that appears to resolve but then returns.
This pain can return unexpectedly or expectedly after a certain activity or injury.
Why? Because this pain can linger for months or even years! It is this kind of pain that can change your life. It can take away your favorite activities, ruin your day, affect your ability to work, and to play with your family. Learning how you can finally enjoy your life and be pain free is important for chronic neck pain sufferers.
How does one Treat Chronic Pain?
It can be fustrating to treat on-going neck pain, upper back or shoulder pain. Studies have been done that show that physical exercises can make chronic neck pain more manageable. This 2008 study showed that specific neck muscle strength training works to alleviate chronic neck muscle pain. It is often recommended that heat be used for chronic pain conditions. Heat increases blood flow and makes connective tissue and soft tissue more flexible. It decreases stiffness in the joints, pain, and muscle spasms. Heat also aids in decreasing inflammation and the buildup of fluid in tissues (edema). Heat therapy is often used to treat inflammation such as in osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, muscle spasm, and injuries such as sprains and strains.
There are many forms of heat that can be used.
There are other things that can be used in conjunction with heat such as a tens unit (electrotherapy). Tens stands for Trancutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A typical battery-operated TENS unit is able to modulate pulse width, frequency and intensity. Usually, Tens is applied at high frequency (>50 Hz) with an intensity below motor contraction (sensory intensity) or low frequency (<10 Hz) with an intensity that produces motor contraction. A Tens unit can be applied to area of pain or muscle spasm, with heat applied on top of that.
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