Neck pain is a global epidemic, affecting up to 100 million adults in the US alone.
Whether it’s the aftermath of a long work day, injury, or poor posture, neck pain can be a frustrating nuisance. If you’ve ever dealt with neck pain, you know how difficult it can be to focus on or even perform daily activities.
It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of neck pain, but we’re here to tell you how to deal with it. Read on to learn how to get a kink out of your neck through hot and cold therapy, stretching, and more.
Neck pain can arise due to a variety of reasons, but in most cases, it’s often due to muscle pain. Muscle pain occurs after prolonged periods of stress from everyday life. This can include poor posture, muscle tension, or a sports-related injury.
One of the best home remedies for muscle injuries is hot or cold therapy. Start by placing an ice pack on the sore spot to minimize swelling. Doing this for twenty minutes every few hours will also provide some pain relief.
Do this for a few days before transitioning to hot therapy. Feel free to use heating pads or sit under a hot shower. Applying heat can also help with pain management but is mainly used to stimulate blood flow.
Heat therapy relaxes and loosens up the tight muscles in your neck. Remember to be careful when using temperature therapy. If you’re using an ice pack or a heating pad, wrap it in a towel first to avoid harming your skin.
Monitor Your Posture
If you often get kinks in your neck, it may be time to look at your posture. The average American spends seven hours and four minutes staring at a screen, whether it be their phone or work computer. Students also fall into poor posture while studying.
This often results in severe strain on their neck and shoulder muscles. When using a phone or computer, keep your eyes straight and your feet on the floor. Push your shoulders away from your ears and engage your abdominal muscles.
Your head must be in line with your spine. It may help to invest in an ergonomic chair. We recommend taking breaks at least every thirty minutes to prevent straining your muscles.
Your sleep position is another common cause of neck pain. Sleeping on your stomach forces your neck into an unnatural position, resulting in built-up tension. Sleeping on your side is one of the best ways to improve and prevent neck pain.
Keep your neck and head aligned with the rest of your body. This prevents excess weight from falling on the neck. You can use pillows to maintain your head in that position.
However, keep in mind not to use pillows that are too thick. This can elevate your head too much and strain one side of your neck.
Sleeping can relieve neck pain as well as back pain. Use pillows to support and keep your neck in a neutral position. This will prevent your head from turning to one side as you sleep.
You can also use a pillow under your thighs or knees to elevate your legs and keep your spine flat. Place your hands on your chest or your sides.
Medicate the Pain
A stiff neck is often more of an inconvenience, but sometimes, the pain can be too much to bear. You may find it difficult to focus on work or go about your daily routine. This is where over-the-counter medication may come in handy.
The best painkillers for neck pain are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen. Since pain usually comes with inflammation, any medicine that targets inflammation will provide some relief.
Always follow the directions provided by the pharmacist or on the packaging. Give your primary doctor a quick call to get the green light before taking any medication.
As mentioned prior, taking regular breaks is a great way to prevent straining your neck. Use this time to be proactive and engage in some gentle stretching. If you have a stiff neck, this will help you regain some range of motion.
Roll your shoulders forward and backward to relieve tension in your muscles. Move your head side to side and let gravity help you. It’s crucial to avoid sudden movements as this can aggravate your muscles.
Get a Gentle Massage
If you feel a radiating pain in your neck, it could be a pinched nerve. Ask your partner or friend to give you a neck massage.
Communication is key when receiving a massage for pain. Some people prefer light pressure, while others prefer hard. Tell them to start gently and communicate as you go on.
Tell them how much pressure you want or what kind of massage feels best on your neck. Let your friend or partner know when their attempts are painful.
Visit a Chiropractor
If you experience chronic neck pain, it may be time to consult a chiropractor. Chiropractic care is becoming more popular, and for good reasons. It’s an effective but non-invasive type of treatment for neck, back, and shoulder pain.
Chiropractors specialize in musculoskeletal conditions and use spinal manipulation to treat pain. They can help adjust your spine and joints to reduce pressure on your nerves. This type of treatment can help improve your posture and restore proper alignment.
If you live in Panama City or Pensacola, visit this Waterside Chiropractor.
How to Get a Kink Out of Your Neck
Now you know how to get a kink out of your neck. Neck pain can occur due to muscle weakness or injury. Try out these tips for some much-needed neck pain relief.
Understanding the causes of pain is a great first step in taking proactive measures to address them. If you want to take control of your health and well-being, please consider checking out our other blog posts. We have more great guides for you to discover.