Neck pain can vary from merely annoying to severe, and it can be caused by many causes, including injury, strain, and sleeping poorly. A stiff or sore neck can be frustrating, especially when it interferes with your ability to function in your day-to-day life. If you’re looking for some at-home relief, there are some simple steps you can take to ease your pain.
Drink Plenty of Water
The discs between your vertebrae are about 80% water when we’re born, though this ratio decreases as we age. Regardless of age, it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Remaining hydrated is important for a number of reasons, but it can ease your neck pain. When you drink enough water, your discs have the hydration they need to maintain their proper thickness and keep your cervical—and entire—spine in proper alignment. Proper spinal alignment prevents the nerves in your spine from becoming compressed and causing pain. Try carrying a water bottle with you when you leave the house, and keeping one within easy reach at work and at home.
Mind Your Phone Usage
Have you ever gotten off a long phone call only to realize that your neck felt stiff and painful? Using the phone incorrectly can lead to strain in your neck. Try to avoid cradling the phone between your shoulder and your neck whenever possible. If you use a smartphone, it’s also possible that you could be hurting your neck by frequently looking down at your phone. Change the position of your phone to decrease the angle of your neck while texting or browsing. If you spend a lot of time talking on the phone, try a hands-free or Bluetooth headset.
Change Up Your Chair
Do you spend much of your day sitting? Whether you’re in the car, at your office, or relaxing in your recliner after work, the alignment of your cervical spine is important. Many people tend to roll their shoulders in and poke their head forward, which leads to excessive cervical strain. Consider using a chair with a headrest and practicing sitting in a position to properly utilize it. Adjust your car seat if necessary so that you can comfortably sit with your head touching the headrest.
Use Ice Therapy
Icing aching muscles can bring pain relief and reduce inflammation, but when it comes to neck pain, you may find that the solution isn’t actually in your neck. Referred pain is a phenomena when damage or strain in one area of the body causes pain in another area. Tension in your neck can affect the rest of your body, since the nerves controlling other parts of your body must pass through your neck. Headaches are a common symptom of neck pain, as is numbness or tingling in the head, neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. Try icing different areas to see if you can find relief from these symptoms.
Get Enough Magnesium in Your Diet
Magnesium is a critical nutrient, but it can be a challenge to get enough of it from your diet since it can be difficult to digest. This mineral is important for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, and a low intake can cause pain, sprains, and muscle strain. Talk to your doctor about other ways to increase your magnesium intake. They may recommend that you eat more fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, try a magnesium supplement, or take Epsom salt baths.
Try a Water Pillow
If you’ve tried all kinds of neck support pillows and braces to no avail, a water pillow may be right for you. You can control the firmness of your pillow by adding more water or letting some out, so you can find just the right amount of flexible support.
At Pain Medicine Group, we’re committed to helping our patients enjoy their lives without pain. Our Orlando pain management center uses personalized treatment plans and state-of-the-art care to help you find relief from your pain. Want to know more? Schedule an appointment today!
Contact our offices online, or call (888) 832-3597.