Back and neck pain is one of the most painful things that can happen to a person, whether it's from dull headaches to a sharp or an acute burning sensation caused by nerve damage. The fact that it's happened to most of us in different degrees makes it about the fifth most common reason to visit a doctor.
The spine is a complex structure with interconnecting nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments, which are all capable of causing pain.
Back pain is usually divided up into areas, neck (Cervical), back (Thoracic), lower back (Lumbar or Pelvic) and then it can be divided into duration as well, ie, Chronic (longer than 3 months), subacute (1 to 3 months) and acute which is less than a month. Now for anyone that has persistent back and neck pain I suggest that you consult a practitioner or Chiropractor as it can be a sign of a serious medical problem.
Now, most of the time back and neck pain doesn't require immediate medical attention. All that is needed is pain relief and rest and you'll be back on your feet. The most common symptoms are muscle spasms or stiff joints caused but sleeping incorrectly, incorrect bio mechanical movement, repetitive movement or even stress. These symptoms should not last longer than a month.
But, if you are still having painful attacks after a month then see a doctor as it could be one of the two most common long term conditions which are Lumbar disc herniation and degenerative disc disease. These will need to be medically treated.
Now this brings us to treatment. Usually in most cases icing is required for the first 48 hours, This helps reduce inflammation and helps to relieve pain. Then the application of heat for the next week and depending on the condition, stretching with light massage then followed by more stretching and light exercise to help strengthen the area.
With more serious injuries it's best to follow the instructions given to you by your medical practitioner. Some of their suggestions maybe traction, physiotherapy, acupuncture and in the worst cases even surgery.
Now, how do pillows help in the heeling process.?
People with back and neck problems invest a lot of time and money seeking relief via spinal care professionals and buying specialist beds / mattresses while often ignoring the primary culprit – their pillow. Cheap pillows don't offer enough support to the neck while you sleep and you're asleep for 1/3 of your life. So over time this causes the alignment of the spine to change which can cause pain.
The selection of the right pillow that offers you comfort and support is critical to maintaining a healthy spine and getting a good nights sleep. Unfortunately the pillow is the most over looked item when it comes to spinal care. People will spend thousands of dollars seeking professional help then spend hundreds on mattresses and they forget their pillow.