During a Long Period of COVID-19 Isolation, What If You Have a Stiff Neck?

Published : Friday, April 17, 2020, 4:16 pm
ACROFAN=Seunghee Shin | | SNS
 "In South Korea, the number of herniated cervical disc patients in 2018 was 959,000, an increase of 10.1% compared to five years ago, with 22.5% more women than men and the highest in women in their 60s." - Korean National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) announced on the 13th.

The herniated cervical disc is a disease that pain and neurological symptoms appear in the neck, shoulders, back, or arms, as the intervertebral disc between the bones of the cervical vertebrae escapes or has ruptured, and cervical nerves get stimulated. The intervertebral disc is a soft tissue that absorbs shock between the joints of the spinal column. It contains fluid nuclei, and its outer wall is made of onion skin-like fibers.

The leading causes of the herniated cervical disc include damage due to injury or traffic accidents and the aging of the neck backbone joint. As aging progresses, the moisture in the intervertebral disc decreases and loses elasticity, causing fission to burst and nuclei to escape or protrude. Recently, the cervical disc has been steadily increasing even in younger people due to the long-term use of smartphones.

Symptoms vary depending on the degree or direction of the herniation of the disc, but there are three major cases. (a) When the cervical disc comes out to the side and presses on the cervical nerve roots, the symptom would be shown in the extension of pain throughout the arms and hands. (b) When the cervical disc comes out to the center and presses on the spinal cord, symptoms of hypoesthesia in legs and weakening of strength appear. (c) When the cervical disc presses on the nerve roots and spinal cord at the same time, pain in the upper limbs such as the arms and hands, and muscle weakness or dysesthesia in legs may appear.

If symptoms including nausea and pain around the neck or back, pins and needles in arms, wrists, and fingers, and difficulty in turning around the neck appear, it is the best to visit a nearby medical institution and consult a spine specialist. 90% of patients can improve through physical therapy, muscle relaxants, analgesic anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise therapy, etc., and surgical treatment may be considered in some cases.

Only one in five patients with cervical discs has had surgery. If you are having treatment, but it is still difficult to have a normal life, it is better to choose surgery. Recently performed surgery type of herniated include (a) removing the protruding disc while observing the region of the cervical disc using a microscopic microscope, and (b) removing the disc and replacing it with an artificial disc or bone.

"With the reduction of leisure life by COVID-19, the usage time of personal electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops is increasing at home. If you use your head with your head down for a long time, cervical discs may be caused by straining the intervertebral discs," Moon Jong-wook, the manager of Spine Center at Daedong Hospital, said.

Also, "In recent years, spontaneous quarantine and social distances have increased the lifestyles that can cause cervical discs. Moreover, in the situation where the initial treatment can be improved, there are a number of cases where patients are miss timing for treatment without visiting a medical institution for fear of infection. Therefore, in addition to the efforts for improvement in lifestyle and behaviors, when you have symptoms, you should go to the hospital immediately and treat it early."

To prevent herniated cervical discs, frequently stretch to relieve tensions of neck and shoulder, avoid bowing or tilting for a long time, such as using a computer and smartphone, studying, washing dishes, and sit down in the correct position and refrain from using high pillows.


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