Neck pain is a fairly common, and often temporary, complaint. There’s no denying it can be a distraction though, especially when you’re trying to focus on other tasks. Fortunately, there are plenty of at-home remedies that may ease your neck pain and allow you to get back to more pressing matters free of pain. Here are a few of the most effective treatments recommended by local Los Angeles neck surgeons.
1. Ice and Heat
The application of heat or ice in the form of a heating pad, reusable heat or ice pack, or gel pack can sooth strained muscles. Alternate between heat and ice for about 20 minutes at a time periodically throughout the day. Never sleep with an ice or heat pack applied to your neck.
2. Warm Showers
A warm shower, but not an excessively hot one, can sooth the muscles of your neck. If you have a shower sprayer, try applying a spray of warm water directly to your neck. Just make sure the pressure isn’t too hard.
3. Gentle Stretching
Daily stretching exercises can loosen tight neck muscles and ease stiffness. Start by warming up your neck muscles with a warm shower or heating pad prior to performing any stretches. Gentle neck stretches can include:
- Neck rolls or rotations
- Shoulder rotations or rolls
- Side-to-side neck movements
- Gentle neck bends or tilts
4. Sleep Adjustments
Try using a more supportive pillow. Avoid sleeping on your stomach since positions like this tend to throw off your natural neck and back alignment.
5. Modifying Posture
Pay attention to your neck positions while using your cellphone, checking emails, or playing games on your tablet or smartphone. Excessive bending can put added pressure on joints and muscles in your neck.
6. Over-the-Counter Meds
Mild OTC drugs may ease inflammation and relieve pain. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and naproxen sodium (Aleve) are common OTC medications that often provide relief for minor neck discomfort.
Most instances of neck pain are caused by strain to soft tissues, such as muscles and tendons, that offer support to your cervical spine. If your neck pain is acute, or sharp, or doesn’t go away after a few days of trying any of these home remedies, see your doctor.
If chronic neck pain isn’t responding to conservative treatments, it’s time to see a board-certified spine specialist in Los Angeles. Call The Spine Institute Center at (310) 828-7757 today and schedule your in-person consultation. Take the first step toward pain relief.