Neck pain could be as a result of a number of disorders and diseases and can involve any of the tissues in the neck. It is also referred to as cervical pain. No matter the case of neck pain, the plan is always to either cure or prevent this. How? Neck strengthening exercises and maybe neck bracing as methods to help boost the strength and tenacity of the neck.
When do you guarantee that truly it is neck pain? How? The symptoms include numbness, tingling, tenderness, sharp shooting pain, range-of-motion difficulties, fullness, difficulty swallowing, pulsations, swishing sounds in the head, dizziness or lightheadedness, and lymph node (gland) swelling. Asides this a headache, facial pain, shoulder pain or arm numbness or tingling (upper extremity paresthesia). These are as a result of nerves being pinched in the neck. Depending on the condition, it is sometimes accompanied with upper back and/or lower back pain.
There are different types of neck pain that can tell you what the underlying problem is. Neck pain is unbelievably common. The reasons or causes as to why you may develop neck pain are endless. It could be the result of a poor body posture, the direct result of a car crash or other injury that causes the neck to jolt quickly whiplash.
Sometimes the pain is short-lived, most especially in cases of sleeping on your neck poorly or carrying an exceptionally heavy item which could cause neck pain for about a day or two. However, there is the existence of chronic neck pain. It is a pain that develops in the neck, frequently as a result of injury, but does not go away.
The lingering pain that follows you around indefinitely is often more frustrating and in some cases even more downright painful than the experience of the injury itself. You have to leave in constant pain for a large amount of your life, the pain you eventually get used to even when it hurts.
You do not have to put up with it anymore, the name has come for you to let go of that baggage of pain. No! This is not some un-researched fact but the reality of you possibly letting go of this baggage of pain by reading this to the very end.
Means of getting rid of neck pain or sore neck remedies include:
- Change the Way You Sleep
Your neck needs support during the night. NEVER sleep on your stomach, this only makes symptoms worse as it causes excessive strain on the neck muscles and joints. Ensure to sleep on your back or side. While asleep on your back, you might need to make use of two pillows. Layered in such a way that the bottom pillow supports your shoulders while the upper pillow is overlapped and supporting your neck. Same goes for sleeping on your side, ensure to have a pillow thick enough to pass for use two or just make use of two. Ensure the pillow is tucked all the way to the shoulders supporting the neck.
- Improve Your Posture
Be careful and intentional as to how you hold your posture throughout the day. Working on a computer or spending prolonged time on a phone with a forward head posture can put up to 40lbs of stress on your neck over hours. Instead, try bringing the screen closer up in front of your face rather than look down. Also, while working on a computer, ensure the monitor is high enough so that the top 1/3rd of the screen is on your eye level. While sitting, try making use of a small rolled-up towel in the small of your back to sit tall. Avoid slouching on couches or in a chair instead be comfortably tall when sitting.
- Improve your Shoulder and Neck Motion
Most of this pain is caused by stiffness in the upper neck and upper back, thus causing an abnormal strain to the mid-neck. The aim is to increase the mobility of these areas by alleviating the strain and restoring natural movement to the whole neck and shoulder area.
- Shoulder retractions
In sitting, keep your neck relaxed, gently bring your shoulder blades back and together. Ensure not to hunch up your shoulders. Do this action smoothly and slowly by repeating it 10 times and multiple times a day to loosen your neck muscles.
- Chin tucks
Make sure you are standing with your back against a wall with good posture. Keep looking forward, subsequently press the back of your head towards the wall in all possible gentleness. Do not worry if you can’t touch the wall with your head, simply keep your eyes and chin level. You should feel a gentle stretch in the neck, however, do not press hard. Hold for 5 seconds and do this 10laps/rounds 2-3 times a day.
If you have a painful/stiff neck, you can try several remedies to reduce the pain and lessen the stiffness. The good thing is many of these remedies can also be used for prevention. Stiff neck remedies include:
- Apply heat or ice to help relieve neck inflammation
- Take Over-The-Counter pain relievers
- Stretch but avoid sudden movements
- Try acupuncture. It involves inserting needles into specific pressure points on your body. Visit a certified practitioner with sterile needles only.
- Consider chiropractic care as a licensed chiropractor can manipulate muscles and joints to provide pain relief
- Limit physical activity such as heavy lifting and activities that may aggravate your neck muscles anytime you have neck pain
- Reduce stress as it can help treat and prevent neck pain and stiffness of your neck muscles
- Exercise regularly to help strengthen your muscles to prevent injuries and improve your posture to relieve and prevent neck stiffness
- Adjust your sleep environment
- Know when to see a doctor
Self-care is still an option when addressing neck pain, and taking precautions like reducing the burden on your neck by sitting more often, making use of improved posture and trying others of the home-remedies listed above like muscle stretching and hot-cold therapy may work to some extent, however, you will need a physician’s support to fully address this pain most especially if it is chronic.
This is to ensure that you do not cause yourself any further injury by making sure to consult with your physical therapist for guidance and support. Also, awareness of sleeping positions and proper pillows can minimize a sore neck/neck pain. Be careful to note that neck pain can also be caused by the way you position your pillow.
Some causes of neck pain are not under your control such as age-related wear and tear. However, there are many things you can do to minimize your risk. Start taking note of how you sleep and what effect this may have on neck pain. It is a surely frustrating period, however, you need to know you are not alone in this.