Neck Pain Relief, From Home Remedies to Physical Therapy
Neck pain. One minute everything is fine, and then Bam! You turn the wrong way, pull your neck, and everything in your day stops. It’s a fairly common occurrence. About two-thirds of all people will experience non-specific neck pain in their lifetime. It is more common among middle age people, particularly women. Sometimes, however, neck pain is due to an injury or undetected illness. Regardless of the cause of the pain, many times home remedies can be helpful.
If the pain is mild, simple neck stretches can be done at home. Tilting your head forward and backward slowly beginning with your chin tucked in toward your neck before you start is one basic stretch. Similarly, tilting your head side to side and holding for 10 seconds can offer a gentle pull. Combining these movements with a slow head roll, it is important to keep your back straight. Always begin with your chin tucked in toward your chest as this aligns your neck properly before stretching. Finally, rolling your shoulders in a circle forward and then backward can help to loosen tight muscles and relieve stress. It is important to move slowly and smoothly when doing these types of exercises. It is also important to stop at the first twinge of pain so the injury is not further aggravated.
If the pain is more severe, taking an over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or applying ice packs and then cold packs can help relieve pain. Keeping good posture during the day while standing or sitting, and then sleeping with firm pillows are other ways to support neck health at home. Most of all it is important to reduce your activity level and take it easy.
Neck pain due to injury or a herniated disc can be helped by laying on an ergonomic cervical support pillow or towel roll positioned under the curve of the neck. Laying on your back with your arms by your sides for 10 minutes, the pressure of the towel against the vertebrae in your neck can help relieve muscle spasms and tightness by slowly stretching them into a normal position.
If your neck pain is chronic and home remedies do not work, then a physical therapist can help. Aligning your vertebra, giving you neck strengthening exercises, and teaching you about correct posture, a physical therapist has the training to reach the problem at its core and allow the body to heal. Physical therapists support your healing and aid you through your pain with the use of electrical stimulation, traction, and other measures. If your neck pain has become too severe and home remedies are not helping, it is time to contact a physical therapist.
Reach out to Everett Spine & Rehab if you believe your neck pain is chronic–we can perform an evaluation to see what is the best course of treatment for you. Our office is in Everett, next to Marysville, Lynnwood, Millcreek and Mukilteo.