Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Neck Pain: Precautions and Treatment

Neck pain or cervical sprain is extremely common in individuals who keep their head tilted side ways while typing, writing on black board, watching television or attending a telephone call. The physiological cause is muscle spasm and or cervical sprain. There may be inflammation and swelling at the back of neck. The neck pain may also cause headache. The headache may sometimes aggravate with change in posture or mere pressure of pillow at night. Jerky head bending or continuous upward head tilt may also be cause of cervical sprain or neck pain.


  1. Keep your neck warm by wrapping a scarf around the neck or wearing high neck shirt or thermal clothing in winter.
  2. While resting one can use cervical collar, but sometimes the collar may aggravate pain due to pressure at some trigger point.
  3. Avoid looking upward or towards the side you feel stiffness.
  4. Use a neck sweater if you have to work in a room with airconditioner.
  5. Avoid sitting directly under the airconditioner.
  6. Use modified pillow and avoid sleeping in trouble prone position.


  1. The best home remedy as well as medically advised external remedy or treatment is massage with warm mustard oil, olive oil or liquid paraffin, since it alleviate the muscle spasm. Two sessions of massage daily for 2-3 days are sufficient for complete relief.
  2. Acupressure and/or manipulation along with massaging by a trained physiotherapist may be of great help.
  3. Ultrasonic massage is very effective.
  4. Apply pain reliever gel at the painful area.
  5. Apply heating pad or hot pack at the sore areas.
  6. Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) after consulting your physician.

Exercises: Following exercises are always found to be helpful to relieve the stiffness and pain:

  1. Place both your hands behind your head and tilt the head backwards against the resistance of hands, relax and repeat 10 times. Do two-three sessions daily.
  2. Place your right hand on right cheek and try to rotate your face towards right side against the resistance of your hand. Slowly return to mid position. Now place your left hand on left cheek and try to rotate your face towards left side against the resistance of your hand. Relax in between and repeat five times towards each side.
  3. Hold your forehead with your hands and try touching your chin to neck against the resistance of your hands, Repeat five times.

Benefits of Eating Pistachio Nuts

Dry fruits are a rich source of antioxidants and high density lipid (HDL). Pistachio nuts (pale-green nuts) have been found to be having beneficial effect on our lipid profile. Regular daily intake of 45g to 75g of pistachio nuts (pista) could reduce overall cholesterol level with an increase in HDL-C, a good lipid. In fact obesity and its related problems are a big concern for all developing countries. High level of low density lipid (LDL) or bad cholesterol is a major cause of coronary artery disease (CAD). Especially for women HDL is more important than LDL and total cholesterol level. So, women should be encouraged to eat pistachio nuts. About 30 to 45 per cent population in majority of the countries is overweight. There is a simple method to assess your fitness through body mass index (BMI) evaluation as highlighted in my previous article. Non-salted pistachio nuts are a very nutritious food item since it contains antioxidants, phytosterols and fibre. Intake of pistachio nuts stimulates and corrects metabolism.