What Are The Most Common Nonsurgical Treatments For Neck Pain
If you are experiencing chronic pain , it is important to seek medical attention for further evaluation and treatment. Treatments for neck pain vary, depending on the cause and duration of the neck pain you are experiencing. Many neck pain patients find relief in using one or a combination of these therapies. The most common treatments include:
Medications: Both over-the-counter and prescription medications may help manage neck pain, reduce inflammation, and decrease muscle spasm and sleep disturbance. The first line of treatment when it comes to neck pain medication is typically non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications , such as ibuprofen and naproxen, and acetaminophen . Some NSAIDS can be applied topically to the skin, such as Voltaren Gel and Aspercreme other topical treatments include Icy-Hot, lidocaine based patches, and CBD creams/ointments.
Prescription medications such as muscle relaxers and nerve pain medications are sometimes considered, says Dr. Bonte. Muscle relaxants are used more often for acute pain rather than chronic pain.
For those with neuropathic neck pain, injections including a steroid and pain reliever may be effective, especially if done in conjunction with physical therapy. Ablation of the nerves near the neck joints may improve mobility and reduce pain, too.
Complementary therapies:Alternative treatments may be helpful in managing neck pain. Some of the more popular complementary therapies for treating neck pain include:
Is It Better To Sleep Without A Pillow To Avoid Neck Pain
Is it better to sleep without a pillow to avoid neck pain? Or, does sleeping without a pillow actually lead to neck pain? There are a few advantages of sleeping without a pillow to consider, especially for your posture.
Sleeping without a pillow will actually help extend your back and help you rest in a more natural position, possibly without any aches or pains. At the same time, using a pillow that is too soft will strain your neck muscles and reduce the flow of blood to the head.
Overall, sleeping without or with a pillow is a personal choice. That being said, here are some sleeping without a pillow benefits that you need to know:
Adjusting Your Posture To Prevent Neck And Shoulder Pain
It might not be obvious, but posture has a cascading effect on other parts of the body. Paying attention to your core strength and lower back can ease strain on your neck and shoulders.
Take the wall test to adjust your standing posture.
- Stand with your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks touching the wall
- Keep your heels around 2 to 4 inches away from the wall
- Put your hand behind the curve in your back and touch the wall with your palm
Your hand should fit neatly inside of this space.
- If the fit is too loose, tighten your abdominal muscles
- If its too tight, arch your back
Remember what it feels like when you find the right spot. This is the standing posture you want to maintain as much as possible. Do the wall test daily as many times as you need to.
Adjust your sitting posture
If you spend a lot of time behind a desk, fixing your sitting posture is especially important.
- Avoid crossing your legs
Read Also: Is It Painful To Cut Your Wrist
Gently Stretch Your Joints And Soft Tissues Through Yoga
Yoga is an effective way to stretch your back, improve the health of muscles and joints, enhance distribution of healing nutrients through blood circulation, and increase the flexibility of the spine.12
When you start, perform the stretches slowly and advance only if you feel comfortable without pain. Gradually, you will be able to add more stretches to your routine. An ideal time for yoga is early morningto help loosen your spine and also reduce stiffness and aches in your back.
Neck Pain Tip : Stretch
Once you are feeling well enough and your doctor gives permission, practice stretching exercises to both relieve neck pain and improve your flexibility.
It’s best to perform these exercises after warming up muscles with a warm shower, bath, or towel.
Here are a few simple stretches for cervical disc disease that you can do at home:
1. Slowly turn your head to the left. With your left hand, apply very light tension on your chin so that your head turns slightly more. Hold for 20 seconds and return your head slowly to center. Repeat on the right side.
2. Tilt your head to the left and try to touch your left ear to your shoulder. With your left hand, apply light pressure on your temple. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the right side.
3. Bend your head forward and try to touch your chin to your chest. Relax the shoulders as you do this. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat.
4. Lie on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your head and neck for support. Nod your head forward gently, as though you were saying “yes.” Hold the position for 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
If you feel significant discomfort with any of these stretches, stop immediately.
Don’t Miss: Is It Painful To Cut Your Wrist
I How To Eliminate Neck Pain Naturally At Home General Neck Pain Relief Options
Depending on the intensity of the neck pain, your doctor may prescribe certain painkillers. If the pain is not that bad, you can find over-the-counter pills in your local pharmacy. The most convenient way to buy painkillers is to use the Internet. But you must be sure you are dealing with a licensed online pharmacy.
In addition to pain pills to relieve the discomfort, you can try a therapy that includes cold and warm compresses. A warm towel around the neck will usually provide temporary pain relief. But if the problem is caused by inflammation, you should apply cold compresses.
Of course, there are some solutions provided by alternative medicine like acupuncture, chiropractic and massage. But experts agree that painkillers provide the fastest pain relief in the short term and are often necessary as an adjunct to other long-term therapies.
Shower Or Soak With Bath Salts
Water may do wonders for your neck pain from sleeping wrong. When taking a shower, run lukewarm or hot water over your neck and head for about five minutes. Remember to keep your neck straight during the shower.
Alternatively, you can also soak in a warm bath with Epsom salt. This can improve circulation and relieve tension in your neck muscles.
Read Also: Is Heat Or Ice Good For Nerve Pain
How To Treat Whiplash Naturally At Home
While it is best to see a doctor or chiropractor to treat whiplash, you can do a few things to reduce symptoms and ease the pain until you see your doctor:
Alternate Heat and Ice: Within the first 48 hours of the injury, youll experience swelling around the neck, upper back, and shoulders. Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes every 4 hours to the inflamed area to help reduce the swelling. Then after 48 hours, you can also apply a heating pad to soothe and loosen the muscles around your neck. Alternate between an ice pack and a heating pad to speed up healing time.
Perform Light Stretches: Your doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor may suggest several light stretches you can do at home to improve your range of motion.
Drink Ginger Tea: Ginger tea has anti-inflammatory ingredients that can help reduce swelling and relax your muscles. Chamomile tea is another great tea to help relax muscles and promote healing.
Use Essential Oils or CBD Oil: Essential oils such as lavender help relax and heal muscles that are inflamed. CBD oil also can reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
If your neck is still stiff after a few weeks, you may want to contact a chiropractor specializing in neck pain and injuries. Theyll be able to create a customized treatment that may include:
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Therapeutic exercise
- Manual therapy
Are you looking for a chiropractor in Portland? Learn more about Inner Gate Health and Wellness.
How Long Does Whiplash Take To Heal
With proper treatment, individuals can expect to heal from whiplash within a few days or weeks. And most patients completely heal within 3 months. If you have followed your doctors recommended treatment and still feel pain or stiffness, you may want to see our chiropractors, who can focus on relieving and realigning your neck.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Wrist
What Causes A Whiplash
Typically, a whiplash injury arises from car accidents, but physical assault, cycling accidents, falls, and contact sports can also cause it. Any event or accident that forces the neck to move back and forth rapidly can trigger a whiplash injury. It can affect various parts of your body, including:
- Neck muscles
- Nerve roots
- Intervertebral discs
Do you think you may have whiplash caused by an accident? Contact Inner Gate Health and Wellness to set up an appointment with one of our chiropractors.
Related Link: Injury Rehab Exercises to Try at Home
Bonus Tip: Consider Taking A Vitamin D3 Supplement
If your doctor agrees, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement. Vitamin D is essential for bone, neuromuscular, and immune system function. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement can help reduce back pain by increasing the absorption of calcium in your body and improving bone strength.15
Finding the perfect pain relief technique is usually a process of trial and error, making it worth exploring various approaches. Try these natural pain-relieving strategies for your back pain and see what works best for you. Severe pain that is not relieved by self-care must be evaluated by a health professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Also Check: Is Stomach Pains A Sign Of Pregnancy
Best Ways To Relieve Neck And Shoulder Pain
Neck or shoulder pain are very common because there are somany ways to strain or injure this sensitive area of the body. There are many issues which can raise therisk of neck pain including poor posture, bad diet or stress, but there arealso many ways to mitigate these risks. If you do encounter neck or shoulder pain, you may find some of thefollowing neck pain treatments helpful.
Before you initiate one of these neck pain treatments, you should first consult with your physician. Only a doctor can accurately diagnose your health condition and ensure that a neck pain treatment wont worsen your neck pain issue. Furthermore, many of these neck pain treatments are only available through a medical services provider.
Because neck or shoulder issues have plagued people for solong, many neck pain treatments have been developed that do not require involvedmedical intervention.
If home remedies arent potent enough to relieve your neck and shoulder pain, then you should consult with your physician. Only about one percent of neck pain cases involve a serious health condition like cancer or spinal cord damage, but warning signs include persistent pain that continues for six weeks or longer, worsening pain or fever.
Medical Neck Pain Treatments
- Squeeze your shoulder blades towards your spinethen release
- Gently tilt your ear towards your shoulder, thenalternate on the other side
- Slowly pivot your head from side to side
Preventing Neck Pain
At Home Remedies For Neck Pain
It seems like just about everyone lives with some neck pain. Fortunately, there are many ways that people can treat their own neck pain in the comfort of their own home. At Back on Track Chiropractic, we teach patients how to change their lifestyle to help them live happier, more comfortable lives. The following techniques can help you reduce your neck pain:
Recommended Reading: How To Heal Knee Pain
Give Acupuncture A Try
As long as you dont have a phobia of needles, you can also give acupuncture a try. Although acupuncture is relatively new to Western medicine, its been a part of Eastern medicine for thousands of years. In acupuncture, a trained professional inserts needles into your body at specific pressure points. This can help to relieve neck pain and stiffness.
If you decide to try acupuncture, be sure to visit a certified practitioner who uses sterile needles.
Be Careful How You Use Your Phone Or Tablet Device
One way you may not even realize that youre aggravating your neck is by cradling your phone while talking, which puts extra stress on your cervical spine. It is also common for people to bend the head forward while looking down to read a phone or tablet for hours a day, which can contribute to painful neck strains or text neck.
Avoid neck pain from phone use with these tips:
- Use a hands-free headset to make calls.
- When you’re browsing or texting, hold the phone up higher to decrease the angle at which you’re holding your neck.
- Take frequent breaks to stretch your neck.
Hopefully at least a few of these 9 tips give you some new ideas to try for neck pain relief.
Read Also: Heat Or Ice For Nerve Pain In Shoulder
Still Have Tight Neck Muscles 3 Tips For Finding Relief
When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:
1. Gua Sha
This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.
Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not.
You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.
3. Chiropractic Massage
Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.
What Causes Chronic Neck Pain
Chronic neck pain can be caused by various reasons, but the most common are:
- Sleeping in the wrong position
- Poor posture
- Holding the head in an unusual position
If you are one of the millions of Americans who spend their day sitting at a desk, posture could be the root of your chronic neck pain.
There has been a lot of news circulating around recently regarding the negative effects of sitting for hours on end. While you dont need to rush to get a treadmill desk, there are some simple ways to improve your health with a desk job.
Now that we have an understanding of chronic neck pain and its causes, here are some natural neck pain remedies to help you feel better.
Recommended Reading: How To Heal Knee Pain
Natural Treatment For Neck Pain From A Bad Sleep Position
Massage therapy is a non-invasive, gentle way relieve neck tension and pain. It is particularly effective when used for patients whose neck pain can be clearly identified as connected to a specific recurring incident, such as bad sleeping positions.
If you sleep on your stomach or with your neck propped at an acute angle, you may awaken to a painful surprise in the morning, and the neck pain may last throughout the day. If you have neck pain that you think is the result of sleeping with your neck at an uncomfortable angle, contact us at BodyWorks Medical Center for treatment and prevent a recurrence with a neck support while you sleep.
A qualified therapist from Bodyworks can help you identify sore areas and apply gentle massage therapy.
A soft curved pillow or bolster shaped pillow that conforms to the natural curvature of your neck and the back of your skull can support your neck naturally, and sleeping on your back or side can help you position your neck at a natural, comfortable angle so you wake up well-rested and pain-free.
Use a rice-filled sock, lightly heated in a microwave and wrapped in a hot, wet towel, to create a flexible neck pillow that delivers moist heat to the pain point and allows your neck muscles to relax.