Here are some tips and exercises you can utilize at home that may offer some relief from temporary neck discomfort:
Applying a cold pack to your neck in one-hour intervals (40 minutes on with a 20-minute break) can reduce swelling to an inflamed area.
Make sure to use a firm or extra firm pillow while you sleep; flat or misshapen pillows force your neck into uncomfortable positions, which will stretch the muscles in your neck and create discomfort.
There are a couple of great neck exercises you can use throughout the day to alleviate strain.
- Head Drop – Point your chin to the ceiling as you tip your head back as far as it can comfortably go, then return to a neutral position.
- Side Bend – Reach over your head with your right arm and tug lightly on your left ear with your other arm. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Neck Retraction – Keeping your eyes forward, bring your head back as far as you can, then return to a neutral position.
- Flexion – Clasp your hands behind your neck and tilt your head so that your chin touches your chest.
- Rotation – Turn your head to one side till your nose is over your shoulder, then repeat on other side.
- Shoulder Blade Pull – Bend raised arms at a 90-degree angle then, relaxing your shoulders, squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades.
Tips for Preventing Neck Pain in the Future
Most researchers agree chronic neck pain is alleviated by regular chiropractic adjustments. On top of routine visits to your chiropractor, there are other ways to prevent neck pain in the future.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Practice good posture
- Move your computer monitor to eye level
- Make sure to take breaks during the day to relieve pressure on your neck. Looking down adds a lot of strain to your neck and cervical vertebrae.
- Check your pillows and invest in the right kind
- Perhaps most important of all is to listen to your body; if it’s exhibiting signs of stress, take steps to adjust your position.
These simple choices can make a difference when it comes to the health of your neck and spine.