Neck pain is an uncomfortable experience, and it can interfere with your everyday life, as well as your ability to sleep well. A study conducted in 2010 showed that over 17% of women and more than 12% of men had some kind of neck pain and stiffness. In this article, we’ll tell you about some home remedies for neck pain and what you can do to prevent neck pain.
First, let’s review some primary factors that contribute to neck pain.
- Poor posture
- Clenched jaw
- Repetitive neck movement
- Spinal or neck injury
There are several treatments for alleviating neck pain, including;
Heat or Ice
Apply ice a few times every day for at least 20 minutes to help relieve inflammation in the neck. You can switch between heat and ice application. Sometimes, taking a hot bath or a shower or using a heating pad can help.
Stretching will help relieve pain and discomfort, and it’s also very effective for preventing neck pain. The stretches should be slow and gentle, and you should avoid sudden movements when stretching. Sudden movement can cause more pain, swelling, and aggravate the injury. Use a heating pad before stretching or take a warm shower.
Try these stretches to relieve neck pain.
- Rollback your shoulders and then move them forward in a circular motion.
- Press your shoulder blades together and hold the position for a few seconds.
- Turn your head slowly, from side to side.
Adjust your posture
This may not be apparent, but a bad posture can cause pain in various parts of your body. By paying attention to your core strength and lower back, you can release the tension from your neck and shoulders.
To check your posture, try this test.
- Stand against the wall, with your head, shoulder blades and buttocks touching the wall.
- Move your heels 2 to 4 inches away from the wall
- Touch the wall with your palm and put your hand in the gap between the wall and the curve of your back.
If your hand fits perfectly, it means that your posture is good. If not then;
- If your hand is loose: tighten your abdominal muscles
- If your hand is tight: arch your back
Stress can cause the muscles within your neck to get tense. Stress management can help relieve and avoid pain and discomfort in the neck. There are several ways to relieve stress, including.
- Listening to music
- Yoga and meditation
- Taking a break, even for a few hours
- Going on a vacation
- Doing what you enjoy, a hobby, etc
Exercising can help strengthen the muscles and help you to avoid injury. Exercise will also help you to fix your posture, which relieves and help prevent pain in your spine and neck. It is also a perfect way to ease stress, which can also trigger neck pain.
Change your Sleep Environment
Changing your sleep environment will help relieve the pain in your neck. Here’s how you can improve your sleep atmosphere.
- Get a firmer mattress
- Try a neck pillow
- Sleep on your side or back
- Relax before going to sleep
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as the following can help you manage neck pain
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Naproxen sodium (Aleve)
A massage can help relax and stretch the muscles in your neck and back. But only get a massage from a licensed practitioner; otherwise, massage may aggravate the pain.
Now that we’ve learned about treatment let’s take a look at how you can prevent neck pain.
Limit your Phone Use
Limit the use of your smartphone; continuously looking down at the screen pulls muscles on your neck and places constant pressure on it. Use any of these tips to reduce neck strain if you have to use your mobile for a longer period.
- Keep your phone at eye level.
- Do not hold your phone between your ear and your shoulder during a call
- Take hourly breaks
- Stretch to relax your muscles after using your phone
- Use headphones or earbuds
Make your Workplace Ergonomic
A lot of people work eight hours a day at a computer desk. This may also lead to several ailments, including neck pain. Here are a few ways you can prevent neck pain at work.
- Set your chair into a comfortable position; your feet should be flat on the floor, and your knees should be a little lower than your hips.
- Sit in an ergonomic posture; your back should be straight, and your arms should match the level of the desk.
- Keep the computer screen at your eye-level.
- Move and stretch every hour.
- Get an ergonomic keyboard and mouse.
Shorten your Driving Period
You should not drive for more extended periods; much like sitting at your office the entire day, sitting behind your car’s wheel can negatively impact your back. Below are some suggestions to prevent neck pain if you have to drive for longer periods.
- Take breaks between drives to stretch.
- Set a reminder that alerts you to focus on your posture while driving.
- Place your seat in a position that best suits you and provide you a good posture.
- Don’t text while driving; it’s illegal, dangerous and bad for your neck