Neck pain is a common injury for active and inactive people alike. While neck injuries are frequently seen in athletes who lift weights or practice martial arts, the average person may still strain or injure their neck as the result of poor posture, carrying heavy loads, or a car accident. If an injury is severe, physical therapy and sessions with a chiropractor may be necessary. However, there are a number of things you can do to alleviate your pain in the interim.
Stretching is a great way to reduce tension on the cervical spine and neck, but it’s important to take it easy. Slowly move your head from side to side and up and down. If you need an extra bit of tension, interlace your fingers and press your hands down against the back of your head. Try not to over-stretch the area as this can lead to further injury.
2. Take an Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is used by many athletes for its ability to soothe muscle pain. Fill your tub with warm water then add about two cups of Epsom salt. Soak in the tub for 15-20 minutes and you should notice a marked improvement in your neck pain.
3. Minimize Unnecessary Strain
Some of your daily activities may strain your neck even further, so it is important to be mindful of the position of your head, neck, and spine. When reading something off of your computer or looking at your phone, try to keep the screen at eye level so you don’t have to look down. If you hold your phone between your chin and shoulder to talk, switch to a Bluetooth device to minimize strain.
4. Change Your Pillow
A firm but supportive pillow may also help to speed your recovery along. Choose an ergonomically designed pillow made of water, memory foam, or gel. Pillows made from these materials conform to the shape of your neck while still offering the support you need.
5. Get in the Water
Many active people switch to swimming exercises after an injury because of their low impact and minimal strain on the neck muscles. When this exercise is performed in a heated pool, it can help to soothe inflammation, reduce stiffness, and provide overall pain relief. To avoid future injuries, speak to your doctor or physical therapist before beginning a swimming routine.
Dolson Avenue Medical provides patients in Middletown, NY, with a holistic approach to healing neck pain and back pain. If you experience pain in these regions and would like to schedule an appointment at Dolson Avenue Medical, call (845) 342-0000 or visit their website today.