Neck pain ranks just behind lower back pain as one of the most common health-related complaints in the United States. While there are many ways to address neck pain, you may have concerns about becoming too dependent on traditional medication to ease aches stemming from your cervical spine. An appealing alternative is natural supplements. But what are the best supplements for neck pain? Here are a few recommendations.
Magnesium aids the body’s natural healing process, which is beneficial because most neck pain is related to soft tissue damage. Magnesium also plays a role in boosting muscle and nerve functions and aiding with the absorption of other beneficial nutrients such as calcium, which strengthens bones and joints in the neck. If your magnesium levels are low, you’ll be more likely to have irritated nerves because of inflammation. Magnesium is found naturally in many foods, including:
• Leafy green veggies
• Nuts and seeds
• Dark chocolate
If you can’t get enough magnesium from your diet alone, supplements may be recommended. Magnesium supplements come in pill form, or you can opt for the transdermal method, which involves spraying magnesium directly onto your skin to allow your system to absorb it. You might prefer this method if you have digestion issues when you take oral supplements.
This slightly sweet spice with an appealing peppery bite has long been known for its healing properties. Ginger in supplement form could ease either acute (sudden) or chronic neck pain by reducing inflammation and making your immune system healthier so your body can kick into full healing mode. As a supplement, ginger is available in the following forms:
• Dry powder
• Liquid extract (tinctures)
• Tea and oil
*Ginger capsules tend to have the best absorption rate, but remember to take them with food to avoid having an upset stomach.
Turmeric is a yellow-colored spice with many known medicinal benefits, including the ability to reduce both pain and inflammation. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is also a powerful antioxidant, which provides even more anti-inflammatory benefits by protecting cells and boosting the body’s healing abilities. In fact, curcumin is said to be as effective as some anti-inflammatory medications, which can be particularly helpful if you have recurring neck pain and you don’t want to experience the side effects, especially digestive upset, sometimes associated with NSAIDs. There are two main ways to supplement with turmeric:
1. Paste – The paste is created from a powdered version of turmeric mixed with warm water and oil that’s rubbed directly onto the affected area of your neck.
2. Capsule – As with ginger, the capsule form of turmeric is often the better choice if you want a higher concentration and the ability to carefully control the amount you consume.
Before you turn to supplements for neck pain, it’s best to find out what’s actually causing your neck-related discomfort. Your doctor may refer you to a spine specialist to get a more conclusive diagnosis. The specialist may find an issue that requires surgery, such as a procedure that replaces a damaged disc with a Mobi-C artificial cervical disc. Beverly Hills patients should also be aware that supplements shouldn’t be the only way they treat or handle their neck pain. It’s just as important to maintain proper posture, sleep on a supportive pillow, and avoid sugary snacks and other foods that tend to cause inflammation.
If you’re having severe or persistent pain in your neck, don’t hesitate to consult a Beverly Hills spine surgeon. The industry-leading experts at The Spine Institute have decades of experience with all sources of neck and back pain, and we employ the most innovative methods of diagnosis and treatment to alleviate pain and promote long-term spinal health. Call one of our friendly representatives today at 310-828-7757 to schedule a consultation.