Neck pain plagues millions of people every day. There are hundreds of medications and treatments for neck pain, but their results vary with every person. However, there are a few tried and true methods of reducing neck pain that have the greatest chance of working.
Work at Eye Level
In today’s world of tablets, laptops and smartphones, it’s common to constantly have your head looking down for a good portion of the day. However, this puts a big strain on the muscles in your neck. Try to work at eye level as much as possible. Keep your smartphone held up to head level. Have your tablet propped up on a desk. Get a secondary screen for your laptop that sits higher than the actual computer or prop up your laptop screen and get a second keyboard to allow for more comfortable typing.
Practice Good Posture
Most people don’t think much about their posture, but poor posture is increasingly prevalent in many people. Sitting up straight with your feet firmly on the floor is the proper posture. It may also be beneficial to get an ergonomically designed chair that provides, even more, support for your back and neck. While standing and walking, the correct posture is to have your shoulders back, chest out, head up and looking straight ahead. Avoid leaning over while typing as well.
This is a great option as it knocks out three treatments for neck pain at once. Relaxation, stretching and exercising the muscles and practicing good posture. It may seem like a painful option in a situation where you already have pain, and there will likely be the pain to work through during your first few sessions, but after some practice, the pain will start to diminish.
If your mattress and pillow are too soft, it may be causing awkward positioning while sleeping, which causes neck pain. A firm mattress will help keep your neck and spine in alignment while sleeping. A firm pillow, however, is not the best remedy. You’ll want a pillow that’s not too soft but also not super firm like foam rubber. Feather pillows and crushed foam pillows are a nice middle-ground and the best option for comfort. It’s also a good idea to sleep on your back or side. Do not sleep on your stomach as this forces your head upward.
Baths and Massages
Massages are one of the best-known treatments for neck pain as they’re a great way to relieve tension in the muscles and promote rest and relaxation. You don’t even have to go to a professional massage parlor for a good massage either. A regular gentle massage from your significant other can work wonders. Hot baths are also great for relieving muscle tension and pain on a regular basis. Taking a nice hot bath before a massage maximizes the effects.
OTC Pain Medication
It’s likely you’ve tried a few pain relievers over time for your neck pain, but just like prescription medications, over the counter medications can have varying effects from person to person. Ask your doctor which medications they would recommend and which may not be safe to take given any existing medical conditions or other medications that may interact poorly with the new medication. Remember, don’t try out various medications at once as this can be very dangerous.
Remember that it’s important to give these treatment options enough time to take full effect before writing them off. Some of them offer some immediate pain relief while some take days before showing noticeable effects. If you don’t feel any significant pain relief after a few weeks of practicing these options, it’s best to seek help from a chiropractor as this may point to a medical condition that may need further and specialized treatment.