When your neck hurts, sometimes the standard treatments like over-the-counter medications and hot or cold therapy just don’t provide all the relief you want. However, there are actually a lot of things you can do to help with neck pain, and many of them are simple, effective, and don’t cost you a thing.
The trick with neck pain, as with most types of pain, is that everyone is different. Figuring out what remedies work best for you may take a little time, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t immediately go away.
Consider the ergonomics of your everyday life
From your couch to your workstation, the places you spend your time could be contributing to your neck pain. If you’re reclining on the couch, make sure your head and neck are supported and comfortable, and don’t spend too much time in one position.
When you’re at work, try adjusting the ergonomics of your workstation so that you’re maintaining good posture. Be sure to take into account things like the height of your computer screen, as well as keyboard and mouse position. Check out more of our tips on upgrading your workstation.
Invest in a new pillow
One of the biggest issues people experience with neck pain is that it can make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep, but if you’re using an old pillow, or one that’s too soft to provide adequate support, you may be exacerbating the problem.
This article from healthline does a good job outline some of the best pillows for people with neck, back and shoulder pain.
Try low-impact exercises that strengthen without straining
For a lot of people with neck pain, it can be really difficult to get a proper amount of exercise. And exercise is important, as it not only helps you stay healthy, it also helps your body release feel-good chemicals called endorphins to help relieve pain.
Swimming and water aerobics, for example, are great low-impact activities that allow you to stay physically active without putting too much stress on your neck or back. Even something as simple as a short walk can make a big difference.
Relax with yoga, deep breathing, and mindfulness meditation
Yoga can be great for those with neck pain, allowing you to build strength and flexibility without putting a lot of stress on sore muscles and joints. And things like mindfulness meditation and deep breathing exercises can help you reduce stress and improve blood flow – both of which have been shown to help reduce pain.
The best part is that things like yoga, mindfulness meditation and deep breathing exercises can be done without any equipment, and there are plenty of free resources (including videos, apps, and more) out there to teach you how to get started.
Pay attention to your phone and/or tablet use
Mobile phones and tablets are a part of everyday life now, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. However, you need to remember that the way you use your devices can contribute to things like neck, back, and shoulder pain.
Try to keep your phone elevated so that you don’t have to bend your neck to look at the screen, and if you need to use your hands when you’re on a call, use the speaker function or invest in a hands-free device rather than cradling your phone against your shoulder.
Most importantly, take frequent breaks and don’t spend a lot of time in one position when using a mobile device.
Quantum Pain & Sports Medicine can help
If you have neck pain that’s interrupting your life, the acute pain specialists at Quantum Pain and Sports Medicine can help. We’ll sit down with you, work to identify the source of your pain, and tailor a plan to not only address the pain, but also ways you can improve your overall health and wellness so you can hopefully avoid future discomfort or injury.
Call 469.913.6136 or contact us to learn more today.