Best At-Home Techniques to Reduce Neck Pain. If you’ve had or are having neck pain, you know how bad it can be. It can affect your life in ways you hadn’t thought possible, and really slow you down. Nothing gets you down more than that sharp blast of pain you get from turning your neck- but that chronic pain isn’t far behind.
Some people feel their pain situation is hopeless. It might never go away, they think. Luckily, there are a few ways to soothe your neck pain and get on with your life. These range from simple tactics that you might have tried on bumps and bruises, to more complicated things like stretches and pain relievers.
So, if you’re having neck-pain, just sit down and enjoy this comprehensive guide to relieving neck pain at-home. That way, you won’t have to be rushing for the doctor every time you feel a bit of pain.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain can be caused by a number of things, but if you’re looking to cure neck pain at-home, you’re most likely suffering from a minor injury you’ve already had treated or chronic pain- origin unknown.
Neck pain may, of course, have its origins in some more sinister places. Many people with meningitis might experience neck pain, and it can even be a symptom of a heart attack. If your neck pain is severe, and you haven’t yet seen a doctor, consider seeing one.
If these aren’t your culprits, however, we’re willing to bet your pain is either from an injury, or a source of chronic pain.
Injury pain can result from things like whiplash or head bumps. While you should always have a doctor treat neck pain as a result of an injury, you’ll have to go home at some point, and that’s where the pain might really kick in.
Neck pain also might be chronic. In this case, you should keep checking in with your doctor, and watching the symptoms he or she tells you to look out for. If there’s nothing physical going on, pain can also be psychosomatic, meaning that it has a psychological origin. This pain isn’t just made up- it’s very real- and you might want to seek a therapist for help.
In any case, trying these four easy methods for easing your neck pain may help you get on with your life. We can’t guarantee you total freedom from pain, but we can point you in the right direction.
Take Over the Counter Anti-Inflammatories
This one seems obvious. However, there are some issues to it. Many people see painkillers as a magic pill that just makes the pain go away- no problem. But, you’ll want to watch out for side effects.
If you plan to take them often, make sure to do your research. Read the side of the bottle for dosage recommendations, and look up whether or not there are long-term side effects. Never take anti-inflammatory medication more often than is recommended, and make sure to watch your dosage every time.
Maintain Good Posture
Many people don’t know this, but your posture can affect everything from your dental health to how you look. It can even cause neck pain. Your parents weren’t just straightening you up to make you look polite, they were doing it for your own good.
Make sure to avoid craning your neck as often as possible. If you work in a situation where you have to look at a screen all day, you might consider raising that screen so you can keep your neck straight. Either way, good posture goes a long way to treating pain.
Use Ice or Heat
This is an age-old remedy for pain, and one you’ve likely had used on your before. Using ice or heat to treat pain can help alleviate your pain and, in the case of heat, just feels really good.
Make sure to cover your bag of ice up with a rag or other cover. You don’t want to be irritating the skin you’re applying it to. As for your heated towel, make sure not to douse it in hot water while its rolled up. You want an even amount of heat everywhere, so that it can’t gradually burn you.
Do Exercises and Stretches
Finally, try doing exercises and stretches every day. The key here is consistency. You probably won’t feel the results on day one, but if you keep your schedule consistent and do your exercises and stretches regularly, you’ll eventually see some results.
One such stretch is the corner stretch. To do a corner stretch, simply face a corner of your room, with your forearms against the walls, and lean forward as far as possible without pain. This will stretch your neck out and give you a little relief in the long term.
Written by Justin Stewart, a frequent collaborator with Senior Planning. Senior Planning is an eldercare planning agency, helping seniors find and afford the long term care they need.