Woke up with a crick in your neck? Watched a game with your neck turned to one side and now it hurts? Has an accident, injury, or repetitive motion led to severe or chronic pain?
Whatever the cause may be, neck pain can disrupt your quality of life. Here are 5 simple remedies for relieving your neck pain.
#1 Identify The Cause
First things first, you must determine what is causing or contributing to your neck pain. Once the cause is identified you can personalize your pain relief and take a proactive approach to future neck pain. If you are unable to identify the cause of your pain, schedule an appointment with your physician.
The most common causes are:
- Poor posture while working
- Head down electronics use
- Repetitive movements
- Accident or injury
- Sleeping on a worn or uncomfortable bed or pillow
- Muscle strain, worn joints, or nerve compression
- Short-term pain after a surgery
#2 Apply Ice Or Heat
If your neck pain is chronic daily pain, apply a heating pad, patch, or topical cream. Or go to a steam room, sauna, or soaking in an Epsom salt bath. Use a bathtub pillow to ensure your neck is submerged in the water.
If your pain is new or chronic but hurts more than usual, apply ice. This could be an ice pack, bag of peas, or a cooling topical cream.
Whether you turn to heat or ice, 20 minutes is the ideal amount of time. However, you should never be uncomfortably hot or cold. Use topical products as directed and apply heat or ice 2 to 3 times per day.
An over-the-counter pain reliever may also be helpful. Use as directed.
Avoid the temptation to aggressively stretch the inflamed area. Instead, focus on whole-body exercising and stretching.
Some fitness and stretch routines may relieve neck pain more than others, such as Pilates, Yoga, and Essentrics®, each of which has the added benefit of myofascial release.
If you have identified the cause of your neck pain, you can also go on YouTube and find targeted stretches from physical therapists and medical professionals. Again, always be gentle.
#4 Standard Medical And Alternative Therapies
If your neck pain is severe, limiting your quality of life, or lasts more than a week or so—it’s time to reach out to a medical professional.
Your general care physician may prescribe over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or prescription muscle relaxers or pain relievers.
They will also refer you to practitioners who can help with your pain. This might include a physical therapist, massage therapist, chiropractor, or alternative pain practitioner.
Neck pain may take weeks or months to progressively resolve, including a combination of:
- Office and at-home ergonomics
- Stretching and strengthening muscles
- Realigning the neck and spine
- Releasing fascial adhesions
#5 Seek Out A Pain Management Specialist
If you are suffering from severe neck pain after an accident, injury, or surgery or your neck pain has lasted for more than 2 months—it’s time to work with a physician who specializes in pain.
They may prescribe several of the solutions above, facilitating your treatment with all physicians and therapists.
However, pain management physicians have options to explore, that general practitioners do not. After the root cause of your neck pain is confirmed, they will discuss options such as:
- Botox Injection
- Botox for Migraines
- Cervical Facet Joint Injections
- Cervical Facet Radiofrequency Denervation
- Cervical Medial Branch Blocks
- Greater Auricular Nerve Blocks
- Occipital Nerve Blocks
- Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks
- Stellate Ganglion Blocks
- Radio Frequency Ablation
- And more!
Suffering From Severe Or Chronic Neck Pain?
If you live in the Phoenix area and have severe pain that your general care physician has not been able to resolve or pain that has lasted more than 2 months—we invite you to schedule a same-day appointment with Atlas Pain Specialists. Dr. Sean Ormond sees each patient at every visit and patiently listens to your medical history to personalize your treatment plan. Pain should not be a way of life.