Tech neck? Muscle fatigue? Slept wrong? Injured? Whatever the cause, if you’ve ever dealt with neck pain then you know it can be crippling. Read on for solutions to overcome your pain.
When my neck starts hurting, I immediately turn up the heat with warm showers, a heating pad, or hot compresses. A pack of lidocaine patches, along with a nap, may be just what your body needs!
Also, give your neck a chance to rest by eliminating heavy lifting, bending, or anything that creates stress on your neck, shoulders, and back. Sometimes simply walking upright hurts, right?
If you’re in acute pain, just the thought of moving may send chills up your spine. But after a day of rest, gentle movement (like walking) is actually your secret weapon for a speedy recovery. Avoid jerky movements and walk naturally.
Bump it up a notch with a foam roller (visit the Yoga & Fitness section here for a recommendation). Try rolling with the roller horizontal against your upper back to release tension. Also, often your chest and traps are super tight, so you can also lie on the roller with it vertically against your spine and rest with your head on the roller to open up the front body.
Watch this quick video to see three easy moves that help ease neck pain:
Here is yet another reason to drink your eight glasses of water a day! Water is required to maintain proper spinal alignment, disc height, and ease pressure. But, as we age, our spinal discs degenerate and the percentage of water in between each individual disc decreases. So, reaching for your water bottle throughout the day can help you keep your spine nourished and strong!
If your neck pain is caused by a muscle sprain or strain then boosting your magnesium intake may offer some relief. That’s because the mineral can help relax body muscles. Not a fan of supplements? Munch on magnesium-rich foods, such as spinach, avocado, almonds, and bananas (just to name a few). Also, carve out some time for a relaxing Epsom salt bath.
This might be the most important of them all. When you tuck yourself into bed, there are a few sleeping positions and pillows that you may want to try.
- On your side with a supportive body pillow between your knees and supporting your upper shoulder.
- On your back with your neck support by either a contoured pillow or rolled towel. Always make sure your pillow isn’t too high and your cervical spine is neutral (often the pillow is too high and your neck pushes forward: bad for neck pain).
It may be time to call in professional help. Depending on the trigger, you may want to consult with an acupuncturist, chiropractor, or physical therapist. I’m personally a massive fan of acupuncture and needling for immediate relief.
We live in a world of instant gratification. But, unfortunately, you can’t kiss neck pain goodbye with the snap of a finger. Listen to your body and offer up the TLC it needs. You’ll be back to yourself in no time!