10 Tips for Treating Neck Pain

November 12, 2012

10 Tips for Treating Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common experience for most people. It is estimated that the necks of 45% of all adults will become painful at some point in the adults’ lives. The problem is that many people ignore neck pain because this type of pain is so common. The pain may not be considered bad enough for the person to worry about. Not all aches and pains need treatment by a doctor, but there are things you can do to help prevent a twinge or ache in your neck from getting worse.

Change Your Posture

One of the most common causes of neck pain is poor posture, especially for people who work sitting down for hours. This causes an uneven distribution of weight on the skeleton, causing neck pain. Make a conscious effort to straighten up and keep the shoulders back. Move your neck slowly.

Get a Better Chair

If possible, get a chair that encourages good posture and discourages you from hunching over, which can cause or aggravate neck pain.

Make a Move

When you work in front of a computer for hours a day or have to take a long airplane trip, your body stiffens up. This can cause nagging neck pain. Every hour, be sure to stand up and do some gentle stretching exercises to help loosen up the neck muscles. If you have to yawn while stretching, that’s okay.

Ice It

Help relieve a sudden pain in the neck by placing a cold pack, cold wrap or ice bag on your neck for 10 to 15 minutes every two or three hours for the first 2 days after first feeling the pain. Do not place the pack, wrap or bag directly onto your skin.

Heat It Up

After two days of ice therapy, switch to hot therapy. Standing under a warm shower is the easiest way to get relief for your neck. You can also use heating pads or microwavable hot packs. Some commercial pads are disposable, but provide a warm sensation for hours.

Gentle Massage

Gently rubbing your neck can help reduce pain. If you have a massage setting in your shower, use that. Some over the counter pain relief creams can be rubbed in while you massage your neck or have a friend do it for you.

OTC Medications

Along with the previous suggestions, take an over the counter (OTC) pain relief medication like aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol (acetaminophen.) Never take more than the dose recommended on the package label. If the OTC medications do not help, you need to see a doctor.

Check Your Mattress

Is your mattress really soft of full of broken springs? This can worsen or cause pains all throughout your spine. You need to sleep on a firm mattress.

Leave It Lie

If you still have pain or recently had neck pain, the last thing you want to do is pick up a heavy object. Swallow your pride and get someone else to move it.

Place Your Chin On Your Chest

Wondering what gentle neck exercise you can do? This not only helps strengthen your neck muscles, but acts a diagnostic tool. If you cannot do this exercise because of stiffness or pain, contact your doctor immediately. It could be meningitis.


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