Five simple steps for treating neck pain
When your neck is sore, it’s important to take steps to care for it. Your neck is important, and it’s difficult to do much of anything when it’s in pain.
Everyone is bound to suffer from neck pain at some point, but there are ways you can treat it on your own. Here are five simple steps that are effective in treating neck pain.
1. Adjust your screen height
Tilting your head downward for long periods of time is often the culprit for neck pain, and can make existing neck pain grow worse. We often look down when texting on our cell phones or looking at a laptop screen.
Instead of staring downward, bring your screens up to a more level position with your face. This helps keep your neck straight, which reduces the strain on your muscles that causes pain.
2. Improve your posture
As you should adjust your screens for better neck position, you should improve your posture in general. When you’re sitting for long periods of time, keep your back and neck straight. Your shoulders should be even with your chest and your feet should be planted firmly on the ground.
This posture helps reduce pressure on the muscles that support your neck.
3. Stretch your neck
Weak and inflexible neck muscles are more susceptible to pain than a strong and flexible neck. Practice some gentle neck stretches every day to help improve your neck strength and flexibility.
Try slowly rolling your head around your shoulders in one direction and switching to the other after a few rotations.
You can also reach your right arm over your head and place your hand near your left ear. Gently pull your head toward the right and hold it for a few seconds. Do this a couple of times and then switch to the left.
4. Use ice and heat
If there is any redness, swelling or heat around the pain, you should apply some ice to it. Icing the pain can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Use a bag of ice or a cold pack on your neck for about 10 to 15 minutes. Do this two or three times a day for a couple of days.
After the swelling and inflammation have gone down, you can switch to heat. Heating helps soothe the pain but it can make inflammation worse, so that’s why you need to wait a couple of days before starting it.
5. Get a massage
A massage can release the tension in your neck muscles that might be contributing to your pain. You can reach up behind your neck and gently press on the knots and tight areas or you can have a partner help.
Be careful not to push too hard while massaging as this can lead to further pain in your neck.
Contact Franklin Rehabilitation for neck pain treatment
Sometimes, your neck pain may be too severe to treat on your own at home. In these cases, you should visit a physical therapist for treatment. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.