Scalene pain is a type of neck pain caused by the scalene muscles, which are located on the sides of the neck. These muscles are responsible for moving the neck and allowing it to rotate and bend. When these muscles become strained or injured, it can lead to pain and discomfort. Scalene pain is a common condition that can affect people of all ages and can be caused by various factors, including poor posture, repetitive strain injuries, neck injuries or trauma, and certain medical conditions.
Causes of scalene pain
There are several possible causes of scalene pain, including:
Poor posture: Poor posture, such as slouching or looking down at a phone or computer for extended periods, can strain the scalene muscles and lead to pain.
Repetitive strain injuries: Repetitive strain injuries, such as those sustained from typing on a computer or playing a musical instrument, can also cause scalene pain.
Neck injuries or trauma: Traumatic injuries to the neck, such as those sustained in a car accident or during contact sports, can cause the scalene muscles to become strained or injured.
Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause inflammation and pain in the scalene muscles.
Symptoms of scalene pain
The symptoms of scalene pain can vary depending on the severity of the injury or strain. Some common symptoms include:
Neck pain and stiffness: This is often the most noticeable symptom of scalene pain and can range from mild aches to severe pain.
Pain radiating down the arm: Scalene pain can sometimes cause pain to radiate down the arm and into the hand.
Headaches: Scalene pain can also cause headaches, especially if the muscles are tense or strained. Decreased range of motion in the neck: In severe cases, scalene pain can limit a person’s range of motion in the neck.
Diagnosis of scalene pain
If you are experiencing scalene pain, it is important to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. The healthcare professional will perform a physical examination during your consultation and ask about your medical history. They may also recommend additional tests, such as X-rays or an MRI, to help diagnose the cause of your pain.
Treatment options for scalene pain
Treatment options for scalene pain will depend on the severity of the pain and the underlying cause. Some standard treatment options include:
Rest: Resting and allowing the scalene muscles to relax can help to alleviate pain and allow the muscles to heal.
Stretching and strengthening exercises: Stretching and strengthening exercises can help to improve flexibility and reduce strain on the scalene muscles.
Massage therapy: Massage therapy can help to loosen tight muscles and promote relaxation.
Chiropractic care: Chiropractic adjustments can help to realign the spine and reduce strain on the scalene muscles.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to improve mobility and reduce pain in the scalene muscles.
Medications: In some cases, medications, such as pain relievers and muscle relaxants, may be prescribed to help manage scalene pain.
Prevention of scalene pain
There are several steps you can take to prevent scalene pain, including:
Good posture: Maintaining good posture, particularly while sitting or using a computer, can help to reduce strain on the scalene muscles.
Scalene pain is a common condition that can affect people of all ages and can be caused by a variety of factors. It is important to seek treatment for scalene pain to alleviate symptoms and prevent further injury or strain. Treatment options for scalene pain include rest and relaxation, stretching and strengthening exercises, massage therapy, chiropractic care, physical therapy, and medications. To prevent scalene pain, it is important to maintain good posture, practice proper lifting techniques, make ergonomic adjustments in the workplace, and engage in regular exercise and stretching. By taking these steps, you can help to reduce your risk of developing scalene pain and maintain good neck health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.