There is an increase in the problem of neck and arm worldwide. An important reason for this is our modern 21st century lifestyle. We are sitting for long hours at work and at home. Many modern office workers and executives are now suffering from neck pain and back pain as a result of this. Neck pain can also come out to the shoulders and hands and cause pain, numbness, tingling and even weakness.
Neck pain used to be seen mainly in those worked in physically demanding jobs like builders, bricklayers, plantation workers, heavy industry workers, construction workers and miners. However, nowadays, there are more executives who come to us for neck pain. We have identified prolonged sitting, a poor posture, overuse of computers, frequent business travel and an unhealthy executive lifestyle as major reasons for this problem. When you sit too long, there is increased pressure in the spine discs.
“A poor posture while sitting such as looking down at a computer screen especially with laptop use is also bad for the neck. The spine is not one bone but about 33 bones with a soft gel like substance called the disc in between.”
The disc allows flexibility and movement in the spine. Executives and office staff now work with computers and this prolonged activity with poor posture can cause the spine discs to break down and come out or slip out. These slipped discs can pressure on the nerves and cause neck pain, arm pain, numbness, tingling, and as the problem gets worse even weakness in the hands, arms and even the legs. The worst case scenario is becoming unable to walk, unable to pass urine or pass motion. This can happen gradually or in some people it can happen suddenly. The reason for this is nerve damage from the slipped disc or spinal narrowing.
Executives who are bothered by neck pain often go for massages to various types if therapists. If the pain does not get better after three visits to the therapist or comes back after massage therapy, it is recommended that you see a orthopaedic specialist. But do take note that massage therapy or physical therapy done in the wrong way by unqualified people can make the problem worse. A proper spine and nerve examination followed by an MRI of the spine can reveal and confirm the problem. X-rays alone cannot show the nerves or pressure on the nerves from a slipped disc. In some older executives, the neck pain or arm pain is caused by spine stenosis. This is a narrowing in the spine canal which squeezes the spine nerves. A common story that we hear is that the person cannot walk steadily or had weakness in the hands.
Executive neck pain and arm pain can often be treated without surgery. The proper medications and therapy organised by a spine specialist can help the person recover faster and return to his normal lifestyle.
Some people require spine injections to reduce pain. The better type of spine injections treats the root of the problem. This can be done as a day procedure without any surgery. In some executives, the problem has become too serious and requires surgery. Fortunately, modern surgery including microsurgery has advanced to a stage that the risks are low and the recovery can be quick. Monitoring of the spine nerves can be done during surgery to make it safe.
In conclusion, more executives and office workers are suffering from neck pain. If this neck pain is frequent or spreads to the arms, we recommend that you see a orthopaedic specialist for a proper check up to find out the root of the problem.
A healthy lifestyle with less sitting, a good posture and the right exercises with a good diet can also lessen the chance of frequent neck and arm pain.
Call +65 6471 2674 (24 Hour) to fix an appointment to see our orthopaedic specialist regarding your neck pain today.