Neck pain is a common condition. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture. It is strongly linked to office and computer work. Most of the cases are muscular. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain. The symptoms of neck pain include pain at the neck that is worse when you hold the head in one position for long periods of time. It is accompanied with muscle tightness and spasms, and reduced mobility of the head and neck. If the pain spread out up to the head and down to the arm, it can be associated with headaches and arm and forearm pain. Neck pain can be classified into acute or chronic pain. Acute neck pain is pain that last for weeks to months, but the pain goes after this short period of time. Chronic neck pain is pain that last longer than 3 - 6 months. About 50% - 85% of patients with acute neck pain will go on to develop chronic neck pain. The causes of neck pain include muscle strains, worn joints, nerve compression, injuries and diseases such as arthritis etc.
Much research has shown that acupuncture has both immediate and long-lasting effect on neck pain. For example, a large sample size German study with more than 14,000 participants evaluated adding acupuncture to usual care for neck pain. They found that participants reported greater pain relief than those who didn’t receive it.
A recent research paper studied the research trends on acupuncture for neck pain treatment. Publications related to acupuncture for neck pain treatment from 2000 to 2020. They Analysed 325 articles and the result has shown that the total number of publications has steadily increased over the last 20 years indicating that acupuncture is becoming more popular among researchers, clinicians, and patients. The top five countries researching on this topic is the US, China, England, the Republic of Korea, and Germany.
Muscles on the neck related to neck pain.
The neck is the center of muscle network of the upper body.
There are many muscles connect the neck to the head, shoulders and the back.
Trapezius muscle is the largest triangular muscle superficially located on the neck and upper back. It connects the neck to the head and shoulders and upper back and middle back. Apart from trapezius there are many muscles connecting the neck to the head and shoulders.
8 smaller muscles connect the neck to the head contributing to the head and neck movement. They are Semispinalis captisis, rectus capitis posterior minor,rectus capitis posterior major, rectus capitis anterior, rectus capitis lateralis, obliquus capitis superior, splenius capitis and Longissimus capitis.
Muscles connect the neck to the shoulder blades and the back include levator scapulae muscle
Levator scapulae muscle pain presents a stiff and painful neck. The pain is characterised at the one side of the neck and the upper shoulder and it may go down to the shoulder blade and between shoulder blades. The pain limits the movement of the head.
Other muscles include the rhomboid muscle major and the rhomboid muscle minor, the serratus posterior superior, the splenius cervicis, the semispinalis cervicis. In the neck there are also some intrinsic muscles such as multifidus, minor deep intrinsic muscles, rotators between and process of the vertebras to stabilise the vertebral column.