Neck pain is a very common ailment. It makes our daily activities difficult to perform and can be a very annoying experience. It will be difficult to turn our heads and thus we will have a difficult time doing our day-to-day activities.
Most of the time neck pain is accompanied by pain in the shoulders. The strain and stress in our neck muscles due to poor posture can be the main reason for neck pain. There are chances of poor posture when we engage in our daily activities like sitting before a computer at the workplace, driving, browsing our mobile phones, sleeping, etc. If the neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in the arms and pain that radiates to the shoulders, then immediately seek medical care.
Neck Pain: Techniques To Relieve Pain
During the occurrence of neck pain, the pain will get worsened by holding the head in one place for a long time, such as when driving or working at a computer. Other symptoms include muscle tightness and spasms, decreased mobility of the head, and headache.
You will have to seek professional medical care if the neck pain is due to direct injury to your upper back. You should contact a healthcare provider if the pain in the neck is severe and persists for several days without relief. Be careful if the pain spreads down to arms or legs and comes with a headache, numbness, or tingling sensation.
There can be several reasons for neck pain. Muscle strains are the main reason behind neck pain. We spend too much time hunching over a computer or a smartphone. This can trigger muscle strains. Like other joints in your body, neck joints tends to wear with age. This can lead to bone spurs that can affect joint motion and cause pain. Dislocated disks or bone spurs in the neck can press the nerves of the spinal cord. It can cause severe pain. Whiplash injury also causes neck pain. This happens as the head jerk backward and forwards causing damage to the tissues in the neck.
As we have seen, most neck pain is caused by poor posture and age-related wear and tear. To prevent neck pain, always try to keep your head centered over your spine. While standing and sitting, make sure that your shoulders are aligned with your hips and your ears are directly over your shoulders. While using mobile phones and similar devices, keep your head up and hold the device straight, and do not bend your neck to look down at the device. Keep your computer monitor at the level of your eye. Do not forget to take frequent breaks if you are working or traveling for long hours.
You have to get up, move around, and stretch your neck and shoulders. Always stay active to prevent stiff joints. Sleeping in a healthy position is also a good way to prevent neck pain. Keep your head and neck should be aligned with your body. It is recommended to keep a pillow under your knees if you are sleeping on your back. This can help to keep your spine in its natural position.
9 Tips To Reduce Sore Neck And Pain
Now let us discuss some ways to get rid of neck pain. These are some proven techniques to relieve yourself from neck pain.
❗ Applying heat or ice can help to reduce neck pain. Ice can help to reduce inflammation and swelling by lowering blood flow to the affected area. Applying heat can do the opposite, it stimulates the blood flow. Both ice and heat can help to soothe strained or torn muscles in your neck and helps to heal it. It is recommended to apply ice for around twenty minutes a few times a day for soft tissue injuries. Ensure that you choose a cold compress that prevents ice from directly touching your skin. You can alternatively use hot and cold packs for pain relief. Taking a warm bath or shower or a heating pad can also be useful.
❗ Stretching workouts can be helpful to relieve pain and stiffness in the neck. It also helps to prevent it from repeating in the future. Make sure that you stretch your upper back gently and slowly. Sudden jerks or over-stretching can cause more pain and injury. These exercises are simple and can be done at home without any assistance. You can consult your doctor or physical therapist to design a suitable workout routine for you. You can turn your head from side to side, as far as it is comfortable. Rolling your shoulders backward and then forward in a circle can also help.
❗ Massaging the affected areas is helpful to get relief from neck pain. Book a massage with a trained practitioner. Massaging can help to loosen and stretch your neck and back muscles. It also stimulates blood flow to the affected areas.
❗ Regular exercise has numerous health benefits and is also good for your joints. Exercise can strengthen your joint muscles and can prevent injury and pain due to weak muscles in your neck. It can also alleviate tension from stress. Other benefits of exercise include boosting your immune system, helping you sleep better, improving mental health, and relieving stress. You need not do heavy exercises which can be stressful for your joints. Simple walking, yoga, or playing with your pet are some good ways to get active time in your daily routine. You can choose the exercises that suit your age, flexibility, and ability.
❗ Make proper adjustments in your workplace to ensure that your back is not strained. The chair you use should be adjustable and of high quality. Adjust your chair to a comfortable position. You have to keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees a bit lower than your hips. Always sit in proper posture. Keep your back straight and your arms should be at the level of the desk. Your computer should be at your eye level so that you won’t be craning your neck up or down. If possible use an adjustable desk or a standing desk, thus you can alternatively sit and stand to work. This can relieve you from the stress and strain of sitting long hours at work. Use an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. It can improve your posture, shoulder cramping, and hand and wrist pain. Whenever you get a break try to walk around a little to loosen up.
❗ Look for ways to limit your smartphone usage. Constantly looking down at your mobile phone can put you at risk of neck pain. It can cause very high strain on your neck muscles, leading to pain. This is called a tech neck or text neck. The length of mobile phone usage is directly correlated to increased pain severity and duration. To avoid stress you can hold your phone at eye level. Using earbuds or headphones can be a good idea. Take regular breaks from using your phone. Adjust your position or take occasional breaks if you notice pain. Always perform some sort of stretching to relax your muscles.
❗ Take breaks often if you are driving for long periods of time. Adjust your seat properly before driving. The driver’s seat and headrest must be set in a position that gives the best support and puts you in a good posture. Never text and drive. It not only puts extra strain on your neck but also is very dangerous.
❗ A good night’s sleep and a good sleeping posture are essential for healing neck pain. A bad sleeping position can adversely affect your neck. Sleeping on your back or on your side can put less strain on your neck and it is recommended to sleep in either of these two poses. Sleeping on your stomach is bad for your neck as it puts your neck and spine in a strained position. In side sleeping, it is important to align your thoracic and cervical spine properly to avoid neck pain. While sleeping on your back, do not keep your hand raised to the forehead as it is associated with increased neck pain. Side sleeping with a good pillow for proper alignment of your neck is found to enhance sleep quality. Change your mattress and pillows if it doesn’t give proper support to your head and back.
❗ Stress can also cause pain in the neck, as it strains the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back. So try to avoid stress to prevent neck pain and stiffness. Listening to music, practicing meditation, taking a vacation break, and doing something enjoyable are some ways to reduce stress.
Conclusion – Best Way To Get Rid Of Neck Pain
Neck pain is very common in our lives. Most neck pain can be treated at our home itself, using simple methods like applying hot or cold packs, taking pain relievers, and light stretching. Our lifestyle plays a major role in neck pain.
So, simple lifestyle adjustments can help to reduce and prevent neck pain. Proper posture while sitting, standing, walking, and sleeping can help a lot. If your neck pain persists for a long and is accompanied by other symptoms, then immediately get proper medical care.
Dr. Edward Zelman
Dr. Edward Zelman works as a Neurologist with the expertise of over 15 years, helping more than thousands to get back in complete health through his research-proven treatments. He earned his Masters from Harvard University and completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Edward Zelman is one of the notable names in the medical industry for his work in pain management, chronic disorder, and so on. He is also a former faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.
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