Body aches are more than merely uncomfortable. Neck pain can cause significant stress and negatively impact your daily activities and overall quality of life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to find relief from this condition. Here are four techniques you can use to soothe your neck pain:
1. Use a hot compress.
Many people turn to over the counter painkillers as their first line of treatment when dealing with a sore neck, but natural remedies can be just as effective. Use a hot compress or heating pad to apply heat to the affected area. This can soothe aching muscles and loosen a stiff neck.
2. See your doctor.
Minor neck pain is usually nothing to be concerned about. However, if you've been in an accident or if you experience severe neck pain that lasts longer than a few days, you should see a doctor. If you've been in a car accident, your doctor can use imaging technology to determine if the impact hurt you hurt your neck. Your doctor will also want to rule out meningitis. Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of your brain caused by bacteria or a virus; when left untreated it can lead to severe illness or death.
3. Do gentle stretches.
If your neck is stiff, gently stretching it may help to relieve some of the ache. Start by sitting in a relaxed and upright position, then drop your ear to your shoulder. Hold this position for several seconds, then switch to the other side. Don't force your neck to bend further than it naturally wants to; remember the goal is a gentle stretch, not a painful one.
You can also roll your neck to stretch additional muscles. Rolling your neck forward with your chin to your chest is a safe and effective stretch. If you decide to roll your neck back, interlace your fingers behind your neck as a kind of brace. This will prevent you from rolling your neck too far back and hurting yourself.
4. Visit a chiropractor.
If you've tried home remedies and your doctor has ruled out illness but your neck pain still persists, make an appointment for chiropractic care. A chiropractor can safely manipulate your neck to release tension and bring your spine back into alignment. A misaligned spine can be the cause of all sorts of painful conditions. Treating the root cause can allow you to find relief without resorting to potentially harmful, addicting pharmaceuticals.