Is it possible to treat neck pain at home?
Yes, it is definitely possible. To allow movement of our head: muscles, ligaments, and bones of our neck are responsible. Any kind of injury, inflammation or any other type of irregularities can cause neck pain.
In most cases, neck pain is caused due to poor posture while sitting, standing or carrying out day to day activities. At times, it can be caused by certain injuries.
Mostly, neck pain isn’t a chronic disease and can be cured very fast.
But if it lingers for more than a few weeks, it indicates chronic illness or injury and in such cases, a doctor’s consultation is really advised. In case of minor pain, self-care measures can also be taken to treat neck pain at home to get rid of the pain or discomfort.
How to get treat neck pain at home?
When neck pain starts hampering your daily activities and degrades your quality of
life, several self-care measures can be followed to treat it. Depending on how
severe your neck pain is, you may try the following measures:
Exercise increases muscle strength and can prevent injuries. Regular exercise improves your posture and relieves neck pain. Exercise is a great way to decrease stress caused by neck pain.
Stretching prevents neck pain when practised in a propper and gentle way. Irregular and sudden fast movements can increase pain and hence should be avoided. Steady and controlled Neck and shoulder stretches will be absolutely beneficial for reducing neck pain.
Acupuncture is a method in which a practitioner will insert needles on certain parts of your body called pressure points to relieve all the pain. Practitioners also do home visits. A certified practitioner with sterile needles is always recommended for authentic treatment and no side effects.
Reduce Excessive Physical Activity:
If the neck pain starts after performing a particular physical activity, try to reduce that activity until the pain stops. However, you may reduce prolonged use of mobile phones, keeping the neck bent for long as in kitchen or office work, sleeping with too high or low pillows, reducing computer and laptop work, avoid prolonged driving and heavy lifting, correct your posture while standing or sitting and reduce activities that may amplify the neck pain. Take ample breaks while you are in these activities so as to avoid continuous strain of neck muscles.
Use a Hot or Ice Bag:
Use an ice bag or hot bag for 20 minutes 4 times a day to help cure neck pain. Taking a heating pad or a hot bath can also help especially for pains over 72 hours. Ice packs are recommended in acute strains and swellings.
Stress is directly proportional to neck muscle stiffness and pain. When the stress decreases, the neck pain also decreases. Try to decrease stress in the following ways:
- Listening to Soft music
- Taking frequent breaks
- Doing restful recreational activities
- Yoga and meditation
Use Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers:
OTC pain relievers like naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help reduce the neck pain.
Properly Setup Your Sleep Environment:
Setting up your sleep environment properly can reduce neck pain. The following are some measures that can be taken to improve your sleep environment:
- Using a high-quality neck pillow
- Avoid using too thick or thin pillow as neck should be neutral while sleeping
- Sleeping on your back/sides every time
- Meditating before going to sleep
If the cause of the neck pain is stress or injury, a massage can aid to relax the muscle and hence decrease the pain. Regular massages are also effective in preventing or reducing neck stiffness and tightness.
Yoga and Pilates:
Pilates and yoga increase your core strength and balance, improve good posture and decrease unwanted stress. If your pain is caused by muscle tension or core weakness, pilates and yoga can definitely be helpful.
Allan I Binder (2008) Neck pain, BMJ Clin Evid; 2008: 1103.