Neck pain ranks right up there with back pain as one of the most common reasons people visit their doctors. Luckily, most instances of neck-related discomfort can be treated with self-care and non-surgical treatments. Below you’ll find eight little-known tips that may help you say goodbye to neck pain.
When you’re born, the spongy discs in your cervical spine (neck) are made of roughly 80 percent water. Over time, this percentage gradually decreases, making neck pain more likely if discs become damaged and irritate nearby nerves. Aim to drink about 2 liters of water per day (eight 8-ounce glasses) to keep your spine’s discs sufficiently hydrated.
The forward-leaning neck motions often made while reading, scrolling, browsing, texting, emailing, and gaming place added stress and strain on neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles, which can lead to inflammation, nerve irritation, and pain in the neck and nearby areas. The solution is to adjust how you normally use your various devices by:
Neck pain can sometimes become worse if you have weak or tight neck-supporting muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These soft tissues can be strengthened and relaxed with neck exercises and stretches. Because you also need to be mindful of technique, it can be helpful to work with a physical therapist or Los Angeles spine surgeon to learn the basics first.
Because neck pain is often related to soft tissue tension and misalignment, you may experience relief from chiropractic adjustments or acupuncture treatments. The results from these alternative treatments are typically subjective. However, reputable practitioners often use results from diagnostic tests to determine how to safely apply pressure or insert sterile needles in strategic locations.
A chair with a headrest can provide the support needed to maintain proper alignment among the head, neck, and shoulders, which can be especially beneficial if you need to sit for most of your day. Also, make sure you’re sitting all the way back in your chair and watching your posture to further minimize issues with neck pain.
Applying ice directly to your neck area is one way to ease the inflammation that often contributes to neck pain. However, some people with neck pain report relief when placing ice in some unusual spots, including:
This approach to ice application may be effective because there are many different nerves and structures that could contribute to neck-related discomfort. Applying heat to the affected areas may also provide relief by increasing circulation.
Adding more magnesium to your diet could be beneficial, since neck pain is often related to soft tissue sprains or strains, and magnesium helps muscles and other soft tissues in the neck area relax. Reliable dietary sources of magnesium include:
Some people develop neck pain because of insufficient support and improper alignment between the head and neck while sleeping. If this is the source of your discomfort, consider a water pillow. Water pillows are designed to automatically respond to your head movements as you sleep, which could also help you retain your upper spine’s natural alignment.
If your neck pain is caused by a more serious underlying issue such as a diseased cervical disc, treatment to relieve your pain may involve a more complicated form of treatment such as a Mobi-C disc replacement. Los Angeles residents should see a spine specialist if their neck pain is severe or continues without relief for a sustained period. The pioneering spinal health experts at The Spine Institute use the most innovative methods to treat all forms of neck and back pain. Reach out to our friendly staff today at 310-828-7757 to schedule a consultation.