Can Allergies Cause Neck Pain?
Can Allergies Cause Neck Pain? This question comes in mind when we feel neck pain. When there is a change in season or weather, many people experience allergy symptoms in their body. While for some, these could be mild, relating to sneezing and stiffness. The other may go through unbearable back and neck pain along with two breathing difficulties.
Many substances named allergens in the environment like pollen, dust, and molds cause allergies. In the human body, the immune system produces antibodies that protect you from infection. These antibodies release a chemical called histamines that help to get rid of those allergens. When you come in contact with allergens, the histamines causes inflammation of the skin, joints, nose, etc
Spring is a peak time for allergies and these seasonal allergies can also cause neck pain. Allergies can cause running nose, sore throats, itchy and watery eyes and for many of them, it leads to chronic back pain and neck pain. Seasonal allergies cause inflammation in the body due to the attack of allergens that cause pain in your neck.
The symptoms that appear don’t need to be related to specific allergens. It is quite possible that your illness and pain can be due to the change in temperature and humidity in the spring season.
Why Is Neck Pain So Common?
In old age wear and tear in joints or due to arthritis neck pain starts gradually. But in young people, this may be sudden due to an accident, sports injury, or strain related to work. Studies show that 20% to 70% of adults experience neck problems in common which hamper their daily activities in their life. The neck is the top part of the cervical spine (spinal cord). It is flexible to bend, twist and is likely to get injured.
From the top of the spine, spinal nerves branch out to reach the head, hand, arms, shoulders, and neck. The cervical nerves have multiple parts which work together to give precise movement like a finely tuned instrument. If any of these parts get injured or worn out the person feels stiffness and pain. The probable common cause for neck pain is due to muscle strain, worn joints, or soft tissue injuries, or maybe due to some allergies.
Is It Possible To Have Neck Pain Due to Seasonal Allergies?
When there is a change in season, whether spring, summer, or fall, the plants release the pollen. It also means that the seasonal energies are also on the way.
Seasonal allergies can cause neck pain and soreness due to constant coughing and severe sneezing. At this time the muscles of the neck become tense that causes pain.
Of course, seasonal allergies can also be a probable cause of neck pain. In our head, there are four pairs of air-filled cavities known as Sinuses. The deepest sinuses are sphenoid sinuses which are located in the middle of the skull. The reaction due to allergy leads to congestion in sphenoid sinuses. The sphenoid sinuses enlarge and press the occipital bone at the back of the head. This creates pressure on the neck and causes pain.
Causes for Neck Pain
The muscle ligaments and bones of the neck support the head and allow it to move. If there are abnormalities, inflammation, or injury in the neck this can cause pain or stiffness. Neck pain is almost unbearable for everyone. It makes it impossible to move around.
These stiffness and neck pain are due to a variety of reasons :
● Muscle Tension
Too many hours on your smartphone or desk can cause muscle pain. If it is not treated timely, it develops into Myofascial syndrome which is chronic muscle pain. It forms multiple trigger points and causes considerable neck pain.
● Worn Joints
With growing age injuries and arthritis-like other joints, the neck also starts to wear down. This wearing down the cartilage in joints causes neck bones to rub with each other. As a result, it causes pain, stiffness, swelling in the neck. This restricts the movement in the neck region.
A car accident, sports, and falls can also cause injury in the neck. This prevents muscle and ligaments of the neck from moving outside their normal range due to the strains in the neck’s soft tissues.
As you age, the cervical disc degenerates, known as spondylosis. This decreases the space between the vertebrae and causes stress in the neck joints.
People with Meningitis ( inflammation of the tissue around the brain and spinal cord ) can have stiff and painful necks with fever and headaches. But be cautious as meningitis can be fatal, so it is better to immediately seek help from a pain specialist.
Possible Connection Between Neck Pain And Seasonal Allergies.
Study shows that there is a link between seasonal allergies and neck pain. Some people feel neck pain at the same time of the year when seasonal allergies trigger up.
There is some possible explanation for when seasonal allergies can cause neck pain.
● Change in Weather
In Spring the pollen grain level increases in the air. The mold growth also rises due to high humidity thus allergic reactions flare-up. It causes inflammation as the body works hard to flush out these foreign allergies. As a result, this inflammation causes joint pain in people who are sensitive to weather changes. Stress and fatigue increase the pain levels in joints and neck regions.
● Tense Muscles
Allergy causes annoying symptoms like constant sneezing, coughing, and lack of sleep. This creates tension in the muscles of the new. Muscle pain may also arise if you have weather-related joint pain. Due to weather-related protective mechanisms,
muscle over the joint becomes tense and causes pain around the neck.
● Congestion In Sphenoid Sinuses
During allergy season sinuses in our head get congested and sphenoid sinuses get enlarged. The enlarged sinuses are very close to the base of the occipital bone near the neck. This causes pressure and pain in the neck due to allergies.
It is crucial to identify the root source of your neck pain for successful treatment. The pain specialist will go for a thorough physical examination and briefly study your complete medical history. This will help him to diagnose the ailment and reasons for the inflammation in your body during the allergy season.
The Right Time To Call For A Doctor.
Allergies can cause neck pain and in most cases, the main cause is seasonal and weather change.
Heavy rainfall increases the level of pollen in the spring season. Along with this, high humidity from the rain also leads to a rise in the growth of mold. These two are the main allergens that trigger allergic reactions.
But it is advisable not to take this health problem lightly as both ailments need proper care. Do not assume on your own that if you treat your allergies, the neck pain will go away automatically. It is better to monitor your health issues and go for a physician or allergic specialist if:
● your allergies and neck pain do not improve with the undertaken medication.
● you are not able to do your daily work or drive properly due to your pain and allergies.
● you have a previous record of neck pain not related to allergies.
● you are not able to turn your head or neck due to stiff and sore muscles.
The pain specialist can diagnose the underlying health issue related to the neck. He will give you the best possible treatment and get you relieved from the pain you are going through.
Precautions To Be taken To Avoid Neck Pain At The Time Of Seasonal Allergies
There are several ways you can follow that will protect you from neck pain due to seasonal allergies:
● It is quite normal when you are suffering from seasonal allergies the start of cool weather can be miserable. It can lead to hours of sneezing, itchy eyes, and unbearable neck pain for many people.
● Avoid going to the places where you can trigger the allergens that are the main cause of the allergic reaction.
● Wear a mask all the time when the season changes. As it is quite possible that when your allergies flare up you have neck pain simultaneously.
● Always carry over-the-counter antihistamines medicines that will help to reduce sneezing, itching, and running nose.
● Use the over-the-counter nasal spray to reduce the level of inflammation caused by the allergies.
● Always take a shower bath when you have been outside at this time of seasonal change.
● At the time of pollen counts try to stay indoors specifically in the afternoon.
● Regularly shampoo your hair when you are exposed to allergens.
Neck pain caused due to seasonal allergies are common and also is self-treatable. Usually, the seasonal allergy symptoms accompanied by severe neck pain go away within a week.
The symptoms of seasonal allergies improve with the follow-up of some home treatments and medicines such as antihistamines.
But if your allergies symptoms are perceived to be worse than improving do not hesitate to seek help from a medical practitioner.