If you have neck pain, chances are you’re willing to try various methods to alleviate it. According to the experts at Spine Health, many people who suffer from neck pain won’t experience relief from traditional medications or chiropractic treatments. Lesser known remedies can often provide the results you’re looking for. Before attempting any of them, however, be sure to talk it over with your doctor as these remedies should not replace current treatment methods without your physician’s approval.
1. Watch How You Use Your Phone
We are a connected world and that means you likely spend a good deal of the day using your smartphone, whether for work or entertainment. Looking down at your phone for extended periods of time is a major contributor to neck pain and can exacerbate pain you’re already experiencing. This pressure on your spine can be alleviated by using a hands-free system or by holding your phone up at eye level, keeping your neck straight. It’s also important to take breaks from your phone to give your neck a chance to rest.
2. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been proven to work on many cases of neck pain, though not all people will respond to the treatment. It’s important to find an acupuncturist that is licensed and has experience treating neck pain. This increases the chances that you’ll find relief and will ensure your safety while undergoing the treatment.
3. Go Swimming
Swimming is a low impact activity and is one of the best forms of exercise to help with neck pain. This is because there isn’t so much pressure placed on your neck and your time in the water gives your body a chance to fight inflammation and reduce any stiffness in your neck. Your best chances of relief with this method are to swim in a warm pool and keep your neck submerged as you move around. Water therapy is a structured form of treatment that you might also want to try.
4. Do Stretching Exercises
It is difficult to think about exercising when you’re in pain, particularly doing exercises for the affected area, but it is important to keep painful areas mobile. There are various exercises like neck tilts, neck turns, neck circles, and neck stretches that will help. Search for specific neck exercises online. YouTube videos from qualified instructors and licensed practitioners show how the exercises are done and you can follow them to ensure the proper form.
5. Try a Water Pillow
Your pillow plays a big role in the amount of neck pain you experience. Using a water pillow gives you control over the firmness, which can help you adjust your sleeping position to alleviate neck pain. More water creates a firmer pillow, while less water makes it a bit softer. You can add or drain water as needed to get the results you’re looking for. Ask your doctor about finding the right water pillow for your needs.
6. Hire a Physical Therapist
Such a person is trained to teach you exercises and lifestyle choices that can help you control your neck pain. If you experience neck pain as the result of injury, a physical therapist can help you heal properly and get back to normal. Choose a licensed physical therapist who is trained to treat neck pain for the best results. A massage therapist may also provide pain relief.
7. Drink More Water
You might be surprised to learn that being dehydrated can contribute to neck pain. That’s because your spine needs water to provide a cushion between your vertebrae. When there isn’t enough fluid there, your bones can rub against each other and create pressure on your spine. By pumping up your water intake, you may notice less pain in your neck. Carrying a water bottle with you during the day is an easy way to encourage sipping often.
8. Sit in the Right Chair
Most Americans spend a good portion of the day sitting, which makes choosing the right chair imperative. Choose one with a headrest and lower lumbar support both of which promote good posture and keeps your neck aligned. This applies to your office chair, your car and the chairs you sit in at home. If you’re planning to buy new chairs, be sure to test them out before you make a purchase.
9. Give Ice Therapy a Try
This is a tried and true natural remedy that many people with neck pain rely on. By icing the painful area, you can bring relief in the form of numbness. Ice therapy also helps reduce inflammation and can alleviate headaches that are associated with neck pain. To get the most out of this method, use ice cubes wrapped in a towel or a flexible ice pack so that you can form it to the area you’re icing.