Recurrent neck pain means that the symptoms occur over and over again over long timelines. Recurrent pain can occur episodically or chronically, with or without complete relief in between flare-ups.
Why does recurring pain occur in the neck? What can be done to break the cycle and bring about lasting relief? If you have been suffering with regular or unpredictable attacks of neck pain, then this is the perfect discussion for you.
This dialog will help you to better understand the causes of recurring neck symptomology, as well as providing some tips to help you to recover from your pain once and for all.
Recurrent Neck Pain Flare-Ups
Recurring flare-ups of pain are called episodic attacks. This means that pain will begin for some known or unknown reason, progress, resolve and cease before another episode of pain begins. In essence, pain does not occur continuously, but the cycle of pain and resolution repeats over and over again.
Some episodic pain occurs for known or suspected reasons, such as activity triggers. Many cases occur without known cause and are largely unpredictable, leaving the patient filled with dread, since they never know when a new attack will begin.
Episodic pain may occur for weeks, months or years following an initial attack of neck pain. In some cases, episodes may resolve organically or with targeted treatment. However, these cases are rare once attacks become patterned. Instead, episodic pain is statistically likely to lead to chronic pain, which is detailed in the next section below.
Chronic Neck Pain
Many people who suffer recurring attacks eventually begin to suffer chronic neck pain. This means that some degree of pain exists all the time, without any breaks in between flare-ups. The amount of pain varies greatly, with some people suffering continued attacks of sharp pain with periods of minor pain in between, while others suffer horrific acute pain all the time, with no decrease in severity. Often, patients progress from the first example to the second over time, with the degree and severity of pain increasing with each passing month or year.
Chronic pain is a literal epidemic in the modern healthcare system. Strangely, chronic pain does not hold much of a place in the historical record of medical science, but seems to have become one of the most significant problems facing humans right after World War 2. Not coincidentally, this was the time when paradigm shifts began to occur in healthcare practices and philosophies, and these changes are undoubtedly the true cause behind the epidemic of chronic pain we observe today in the developed world.
Pain rarely becomes chronic due to organic causes. The body is marvelously designed to heal and/or adapt to structural change. However, the mind has evolved a tendency to exponentially magnify pain, based on the nocebo effect of many diagnoses and the manner in which pain is now treated in modern healthcare as a separate entity. We write much about this problem throughout all the sites of The Cure Back Pain Network, as it remains our most important focus.
Recurrent Neck Pain Tips
Breaking the cycle of recurrent neck pain can be difficult, but is certainly not impossible. To this end, we provide the following tips and guidance:
Achieving an accurate diagnosis is one of the major hurdles in many cases of recurrent pain. Misdiagnosed neck pain is commonplace and disastrous for the patient. If treatments are not targeting the true source of suffering then of course these treatments will fail.
Some patients bring on their own suffering through repetitive physical and/or psychoemotional patterns of triggering. Look for common elements each time you have pain and be sure to focus on non-physical factors such as a emotional state, as well as activity-related triggers, like exercise or sleep position.
Very few pain problems persist long-term due to purely physical/structural reasons. If pain becomes recurring or chronic, there is usually a source in the mind driving the imperative in the body. This is medical fact, proven by the incredibly high success rate of treating chronic pain (of literally any variety) using knowledge-based approaches to therapy.
Our peer-acclaimed, proven program can help you to break the pain cycle. We offer it to you as an extension of our education and advocacy work and are confident that you will find it useful in your quest for lasting relief.