Luckily, the majority of neck pain isn’t a serious problem, as most cases involve acute symptoms typically lasting a couple of hours to a few weeks. However, chronic neck pain can linger several weeks or longer. From reevaluating your posture to stop slumping in your computer chair, explore home remedies for neck pain to ease nagging symptoms.
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Causes and Symptoms
On a daily basis, the neck already sustains a great deal of pressure. After all, it does support our head, which supposedly weighs between 8 and 12 pounds. Neck pain is generally characterized by sharp or dull pain in the neck; stiffness in the neck; pain or stiffness that makes everyday tasks difficult to complete; and neck pain accompanied by unexplainable shoulder and/or back pain.
Common causes of neck pain include:
• Overuse: Overuse can lead to muscle strain and fatigue when you repeatedly place undue pressure on the muscles, especially the ones found in the back of the neck. Chronic pain can develop when you engage in repetitive actions, including reading in bed, hunching over a worktable, or leaning close into your computer screen.
• Wear and Tear: Joints in the neck can become worn just like any other parts of your body. Everyday wear and tear also comes with age. Osteoarthritis, which causes pain and stiffness in the neck, is a common complaint of the elderly.
• Medical Conditions : Disorders of the cushioning disks located between your vertebrae can affect the nerves associated with your spinal column. In the worst cases, the disks in your neck can herniate, which can also irritate nerves. When tissues and bony growths (called spurs) press on surrounding nerves, pain also develops. Other medical concerns include pinched nerves and degenerative disc disease.
• Injury: Any injury that stretches the soft tissues in the neck to their limits will cause neck pain. For example, car accidents (like rear-end collisions) result in whiplash injuries that violently jerk the head forward and back.
Neck Pain Home Remedies
While many people pop a couple of aspirins to satisfy their neck pain, you can take a more active approach in your recovery by embracing some of the following home remedies of neck pain:
Ease neck stiffness and inflammation by applying an ice pack or ice cubes wrapped in a towel to painful regions. If a neck injury is causing your pain, the ice can help decrease swelling.
Follow-up a session of icing down your neck with heat, which can further soothe pain. Apply a heating pad to the neck or treat yourself to a relaxing hot shower.
Stretching your neck muscles with targeted exercises can relieve stiffness, as well as prevent future neck pain. Aim at completing a set of neck exercises twice per day. A couple of examples include: a) Slowly tilt your head forward as far as possible, followed by moving your head backwards as far as possible, b) slowly turn your head from side to side as far as possible, and c) holding light weights in your hands, shrug your shoulders while keeping your arms straight.
d) Choice of Chair:
Sitting in a chair that lacks decent back support will increase your risk of worsening neck pain issues. Choose a firm chair to avoid symptoms of neck pain, especially during long hours at a computer desk. When curling up with a good book or watching your favorite TV show, settle into a recliner chair, which delivers efficient head and neck support.
e) Adjust PC Monitor:
Craning to look at your computer monitor is a surefire way to create neck pain. If you work at a computer for long periods of time, adjust the monitor for eye level viewing.
Provide improved conditions for your spine and enjoy extra support by rolling up a towel and placing it against the small of your back when sitting in a chair.
g) Curb Neck-Straining Habits:
Some of your everyday habits can cause neck pain to arise, including falling asleep in chairs, shampooing your hair over a sink, and holding the phone between your neck and shoulder.
Massage can give tense muscles temporary relief, as well as encourage a more restful night’s sleep. First, loosen up your muscles with a hot bath or shower. With oil or lotion in hand, use your fingers to rub your neck and shoulders in small circular motions – applying gentle pressure. Additionally give attention to your chest region. A recommended massage session should last about 10 to 15 minutes.
i) Cut the Chit-Chat:
If you spend a great deal of time talking on the phone (especially while trying to complete other tasks at the same time), chances are you’ve adopted awkward neck positions that can lead to stiffness and pain.
j) Purse Choice:
Heavy purses not only strain the shoulders and back, but also cause neck pain. Either lighten your load or switch to a smaller model. If you cannot bear to part with the contents of your purse, carry it across your chest to evenly distribute the weight.
k) Mattress Choice:
Sleeping on a firm mattress can ease neck pain by providing better support.
l) Ditch Your Pillow:
For some people, they’ve successfully alleviated their neck pain by sleeping flat on their bed – without the help of a pillow.
m) Sleeping Positions:
Sleeping on your stomach not only negatively affects the neck, but can also causes problems with your back. Take a page from the sleeping manual of a baby and choose the more favorable fetal position by turning to your side with your knees pulled towards your chest.
n) Relaxation Techniques:
Alleviate neck pain related to tense muscles by learning relaxation techniques, such as mediation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises.