‘Pain in the neck’— this phrase is often used derisively to imply a nagging annoyance. The person who coined this idiom must have lived through some real life, physical neck pain. A painful neck can become a huge annoyance and make the simplest of tasks seem mountainous.
Neck pain results in a sharp or dull ache in the neck and shoulder areas. It might also cause numbness, headache, stiffness, and difficulty while eating.
You may end up with neck pain due to bad sleeping postures, tension and/or stress, long hours of leaning, lying on an excessively soft mattress, or bad body postures. An injury on the neck and muscle tension have become the root causes of neck pain in many individuals today. It is important to counteract the problem at the onset to cure the pain and prevent it from becoming worse.
The best way to heal neck pain is through chiropractic care. You can also find relief with some easy home remedies.
Here are some of the best home remedies for neck pain that you can try to find some relief.
Simple Solutions To Alleviate Neck Pain
Exercise can help greatly in relieving neck pain. Doing strengthening exercises and stretching will make your neck flexible and strong and reduce stiffness. Poor stomach muscles can cause your upper back to curve backward and result in your neck curving forward. Exercises, such as bent knee curls, will help in strengthening your abdominal muscles.
You can get instant relief from neck pain by performing a simple set of exercises. All you need to do is follow these steps:
[ Read: Home Remedies For Knee Joint Pain ]
Stress can also induce muscle tension. Pay attention to what stresses you and sort them out to get rid of neck pain. You can follow relaxation techniques, such as meditation and yoga. The asanas listed below work well for neck pain.
Apply this twice a day.
Peppermint oil has a soothing effect on the muscles and is often used to treat headaches and body pain. It also has anti-inflammatory properties (1). Lavender oil relaxes the mind and the muscles, thus relieving mental and/or physical stress (2). Basil oil is antispasmodic and analgesic in nature and will effectively reduce neck pain (3). Cypress oil treats muscular cramps and sore muscles. It also stimulates blood and lymph circulation (4).
Acupuncture – a method in which tiny needles are inserted in specific and strategic points of the skin – has been widely used to treat any kind of pain. These points, when activated by the acupuncture, regulate the functioning of the body and also the circulation of blood and lymph in order to relieve pain (5). Consult a certified therapist to treat your neck pain through acupuncture.
1. Soak the napkin in the vinegar and place this on your neck.
2. Leave it on for an hour or so.
Repeat this twice a day until you get relief from the neck pain.
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent home remedy for neck pain and stiffness. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents present in ACV will relieve the stress in the neck muscles and thus reduce the pain (6).
Olive, mustard, or coconut oil
1. Take a hot shower and pat your skin dry.
2. Lightly warm up a tablespoon of the oil and massage your neck with it.
3. Use gentle circular motions for a couple of minutes.
Repeat this every morning. You can also massage your neck once again during the day.
A massage can heal any pain in the body. Gentle massage or rub the aching area to stimulate blood flow (7). A massage will help you sleep better too.
Don’t rub the injured area if it causes excess pain.
1. Place the ice cubes inside the towel and place it on the area that is aching.
2. Alternatively, you can cool the ice pack and place it on the affected area.
3. Place the pack for a couple of minutes.
Repeat the ice application three to four times in a day.
Ice helps to reduce the inflammation in the neck area. The coldness will relieve muscle soreness in the neck (8).
Vitamins play a key role in maintaining healthy functioning of the body. When their quantities start decreasing in the bloodstream, a number of issues develop. One such issue is pain, both acute and chronic. If you frequently suffer from neck pain, including these essential vitamins in your diet will help you to get relief.
1. Fill three-fourths of the bathtub with warm water and add the Epsom salt to it.
2. Mix the salt in the water and soak in this for 10 to 15 minutes.
Soak in the Epsom salt water twice a day.
A neck collar or brace
1. Wrap the collar around your neck and keep it on until the pain subsides.
2. At regular intervals, remove the collar and stretch your neck and shoulder muscles.
Use the collar as and when required to relieve neck pain.
The main purpose of the neck collar is to support the neck in bearing the weight of the head when it is healing from the pain. In case of injury, the collar will also keep the bones in your neck in line while they are healing.
If you are prone to neck pains, it is important that you take adequate number of breaks throughout the day. Leave your desk and move around at least once in an hour. Also, pay attention to your posture. It plays a vital role in preventing as well as relieving neck pain. Avoid junk foods and include more vegetables and fruits in your diet. Being overweight strains all the muscles in the body, even the neck muscle.
Watch out for habits that may be straining your neck muscles. Do you shampoo your hair by bending over at the sink? Or do you carry on hour long conversations with the phone tucked between your ear and shoulder? Then, stop it! Such habits can result in severe neck pain. Neck pain can be debilitating. It can take over your life. But with these neck pain remedies, you can now manage your pain better.
Now that you know how to relieve neck pain, what are you waiting for? Do try these effective remedies and let us know which one worked for you. If the pain persists, do seek medical help.