Neck pain – it can definitely be a pain in the neck. We’re sharing 5 techniques that you can use for alleviating neck pain at home.
At least one million Americans today deal with chronic pain, and like you, 15% require alleviating neck pain.
Moreover, chronic physical pain is felt among all age groups. In fact, 65% of 18 to 34-year-olds in the U.S. deal with some type of chronic pain.
So why do so many people, like yourself, continuously suffer from neck pain?
Let’s review the main culprits:
- Bad posture: Do you catch yourself slumping over your desk at work? How about hunching over your iPhone? Bad posture overuses certain muscles while letting others fall by the waist side. This triggers inflammation, otherwise known as strain.
- Joint Wear and Tear: As you age, the cartilage between your vertebrae naturally breaks down. These essentially act as cushions to prevent your joints from rubbing together. Conditions like Osteoporosis speeds up cartilage loss.
- Pinched Nerves: Nerve compression, or pinched nerves, in the neck occurs when bone spurs or slipped disks press against sensitive nerves. Bone spurs, which are common to Osteoporosis, are those bony formations that form along the edges of your vertebrae.
- Injuries: Injuries associated with car accidents (most notably whiplash) cause neck pain because one’s head is quickly, and aggressively, jerked back and forth. You can also experience similar symptoms due to physical sports.
As you can see, neck pain can result from a number of issues, but if you don’t take action soon, alleviating neck pain will be more difficult down the road.
By alleviating neck pain, your body will better withstand and respond to any further medical treatment you may need.
So let’s explore five effective pain remedies to help with alleviating neck pain.
It’s time to dust off those hand weights.
Dumbell exercises are excellent for alleviating neck pain, especially when it spreads to the shoulders.
Try these three simple exercises for starters:
- The shoulder shrug: First, stand upright, with your back straight, holding your two dumbells in each hand. Hang your arms low, and lift your shoulders up and down. Try to reach your shoulders to your ears.
- Upright “row” stretch: Get into the same position as the shoulder shrug. This time, face the back of your hands outward and pull your dumbells to your waist in an up and down motion.
- Single dumbells exercise: Holding just one of your dumbells in your left hand, kneel your right knee down on a bench and keep your left leg straight. In this position, move your left arm up and down. Switch positions to stretch the other side.
Perform these exercises in sessions, and shoot for at least 12 exercises per session.
Daily Stretches for Neck Pain Relief
Simple daily stretching is the most familiar neck pain remedy, but it’s particularly effective for bad posture at work. Plus, studies show that stretching at work even prevents work-related injuries and musculoskeletal conditions as well.
Moreover, daily stretching is a good stress reliever as well as a classic neck pain remedy. That’s why daily stretching at work improves your mood and productivity.
Now, you may think you’re stretching properly, but you might be missing some key techniques for neck relief.
Let’s break down how to effectively stretch:
- Gently tilt your head from side to side, but hold your position on each side for roughly 20 or 30 seconds.
- Put your right or left hand on top of your head and gently pull your head down toward your chest.
- Like step 2, place your hand on your hand and pull your head down. But this time, stretch your neck toward one shoulder and alternate stretching between your left and right shoulders.
- Perform these stretches in a fluid motion. If you stretch to harshly or quickly, you risk tearing a muscle.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Now, muscle damage itself isn’t a bad thing per say. In fact, it’s actually part of the whole muscle growth process.
For example, when athletes train, their muscles experience trauma. In response, their muscles synthesize more proteins to repair those damaged muscles. This process is also called muscular hypertrophy.
And it’s just not athletes that go through this.
Regular jogging, weekly recreational sports, or any other physical exercise will stimulate muscular hypertrophy.
However, the pain of neck muscle damage and recovery can be a lot to bear, but hot and cold therapy can provide both the relief and recovery aid you need.
Let’s break down how hot and cold therapy works:
- Cold: Cold therapy decreases inflammation, so apply cold compresses or ice packs to the source of your neck pain. Try to apply your cold therapy for at least 20 minutes at a time.
- Heat: Cold therapy brings down inflammation, but heat stimulates blood flow. Healthy blood flow stimulates the healing process. Heat therapies include hot showers, baths, hot water bottles, and heat wraps.
- Together, these two therapies are a very powerful neck pain remedy.
Neck Massage Techniques
Maybe it’s time to finally treat yourself to that massage.
Like heat therapy, neck massages also stimulate blood flow to speed up healing.
In the meantime, you can ask a friend or partner to assist you with the following neck massage techniques:
- Make sure you are sitting in an upright position.
- Have them put targeted pressure on knots and stiff areas.
- They should use a “rolling motion” with their thumbs as they apply pressure to those areas.
You can also massage your own neck with the following tips:
- Again, make sure you are sitting upright in a chair. Keep your back straight.
- Relax your shoulders and drop them down.
- Gently bring your chin down to your chest.
- With your chin pointed down, apply pressure to the back of your neck and you should feel a nice release of pressure.
Adjust Your Sleep Positions
Believe it or not, you can actually relieve neck pain while you sleep!
Medical professionals suggest that you either sleep on your side or on your back. However, sleeping on your stomach is strongly discouraged.
You naturally twist and turn in your sleep. However, when you sleep on your stomach, your head twists and turns on both sides, resulting in more muscle strain.
So get some sleep! But make sure you’re in the right position.
The key to alleviating neck pain is consistency. Do your best to consistently stretch at work, apply alternating cold and hot therapy, and adjust your sleeping positions to decrease discomfort. If you continue to have pain or have any questions please feel free to contact us for further assistance.
Want easy DIY Home Remedies for Neck Pain?
Check out this article. Easy and Effective DIY Home Remedies For Neck Pain
We highly encourage anyone experiencing neck pain to submit our form here. We can help.