The prevalence of chronic pain has reached as high as 40%. It’s linked to physical and mental conditions while contributing to lost productivity. Chronic pain also causes high healthcare costs.
An estimated 20.4% of US adults now live with chronic pain.
You don’t have to let your neck pain impact your quality of life anymore. Instead, consider using these six techniques for relief. With these tips, you can ease the pain and enjoy life again.
Make a change for the better. Get started with these simple neck pain relief tips today.
1. Take It Easy
It’s likely you’re living a busy, hectic life with a jam-packed schedule. Though it’s normal, stress could contribute to your pain. Try to minimize the intense activities in your day for a moment.
Instead, try to find a comfortable position. Rest for a while.
Make sure your position causes as little neck pain as possible. You might want to use a pillow for neck pain. The best pillow for neck pain might ease your shoulder or back pain, too.
If you don’t have a pillow, that’s okay. Place a rolled-up towel under your neck. Try to keep your neck in a neutral position.
“Getting rest” doesn’t mean crawling into bed and lying still, though. You don’t want to remain immobile for too long. In fact, remaining in bed could prove harmful.
Staying immobile for too long can decondition the muscles responsible for supporting your neck. In fact, it could increase the pain you’re experiencing in the long run.
Instead, try to slowly increase your activity level over time. Make sure you’re only taking on what you’re comfortable handling.
As your pain eases, you can increase your activity level gradually.
2. Hot and Cold Therapy
If you’re experiencing neck and shoulder pain, consider icing the area for the first 24 to 48 hours after noticing symptoms. Icing the area can help reduce swelling.
Then, use heat to loosen your muscles. Heat can also improve any stiffness you experience.
Unfortunately, neither the hot or cold will penetrate deeply enough to ease any inflammation you’re experiencing. Inflammation is the body’s response to pain, illness, or injury. Too much inflammation, however, can cause additional pain.
Use whichever option helps to provide the most neck pain relief.
Whichever option you choose, apply a pack for only 20 minutes at a time. Then, keep the pack off for at least 40 minutes.
When using an ice or heat pack, make sure to wrap it in a towel. Otherwise, putting it directly against your skin can cause burns. Don’t cause more pain than you’re already experiencing.
Remember, you don’t want to remain immobile for too long. Exercise can actually help reduce pain perception.
Performing strength and endurance exercises could reduce your neck pain and disability. It can help you remain active in general, too.
If you’re struggling with chronic neck pain, try to schedule 30 minutes of aerobic exercise into your day. These exercises can include biking, walking, and swimming. Exercising will help keep your back muscles strong.
Exercising also helps improve blood flow throughout the body. Nutrients will have an easier time reaching the neck. These nutrients could help you heal.
Make sure to talk to a pain specialist before you begin exercising. Consider consulting a physical therapist or personal trainer, too. Consult someone with experience helping people with neck pain.
They can help you determine which exercises best support your needs and abilities.
Talk to a pain management specialist about neck pain exercises and stretches you can use. Make sure you get permission from a specialist first. You don’t want to unintentionally cause more harm to your neck.
Stretching and exercising can help ease your pain. It can also improve your flexibility. Strengthening muscles in the area could help you avoid an injury in the future, too.
When performing these exercises, warm up your muscles first. You can use a hot towel, bath, or shower to warm your muscles.
Try slowly turning your head to the left first. Using your left hand, apply a little tension to your cheek. Help your head turn just a little more.
Hold this position for 20 seconds. Then, slowly return your head to the center position. Repeat this exercise on the right side.
You can also tilt your head to the left to try and touch your left ear with your shoulder. Using your left hand, apply a little pressure to your temple. Hold this position for 20 seconds before repeating on the right side.
Try bending your head forward to touch your chin to your chest, too. Make sure to relax your shoulders. Then, hold for 20 seconds.
If you experience any pain or discomfort while using these neck pain exercises, stop. Talk to a specialist about your symptoms.
5. Improve Your Posture
If you want to find neck pain relief, it helps to consider the underlying cause of your pain first. For example, bad posture is a major contributor to pain. How you sit, lift, or stand throughout the day could cause your symptoms.
First, try to keep the neck and back straight each time you sit down. Make sure your back is supported, too.
If you’re sitting at a desk, make sure your computer is at eye level. Make sure the chair is against your back as well.
Otherwise, consider how you position your mouse and monitors. Make sure you’re not needing to reach too far for your mouse.
When you try to pick something up, avoid leaning forward. Instead, bend your needs and keep your back straight.
6. Visit a Professional
Before using these tips for neck and shoulder pain relief, consider consulting a pain specialist. They can help you develop a customized treatment plan.
With their help, you can avoid experiencing any additional pain, too.
Ease Pain Away: 6 Ways to Manage Your Neck Pain
You don’t have to live life with chronic neck pain anymore. Instead, consider using these six tips to ease the pain away. With these tips, you can start improving your quality of life.
Live life to the fullest by easing your pain today.
Eager to visit a specialist? We’re here to help.
Schedule an appointment with our team today to get started.