A pain in the neck is, well, a pain in the neck! Whether your cervical pain is a minor, but chronic, nuisance or a debilitating and potentially dangerous condition, you probably just want it to go away as quickly as possible. You may be surprised at the tricks you can use to get relief.
1. Get a new pillow
If your pillow is too old, too flat, too big, or both, it’s probably not giving you the support you need, which can create or contribute to cervical pain. Ditto for a pillow that’s too fluffy.
“A pillow is supposed to position your head so that it’s in a healthy, neutral position,” said the National Sleep Foundation. “That means that your nose is in line with the center of your body, or your spine. If you use too fat of a pillow, your neck and head will be bent upwards. On the other hand, if you use too flat of a pillow, your head and neck will be bent downwards. When choosing what type of pillow to buy, consider a feather or memory foam one that molds comfortably to the shape of your neck.”
Back sleeping is the most recommended position, especially for those who have chronic back or neck pain. When choosing a new pillow, you want to look for one that fits between the side of your head and your mattress without causing you to tilt up or down.
2. Raise your head
Remember that scene in Jerry Maguire when the adorable little boy tells Jerry that the human head weighs eight pounds? That’s a lot of weight to be hanging forward while slouching over your computer at your desk or looking down at your phone. Is it any wonder your neck hurts when you never look up? Working on your posture throughout the day, when walking, sitting, and standing, can help relieve pressure that builds up in your neck and shoulders.
3. Take some over-the-counter-meds and find a heating pad
It’s the standard one-two punch for temporarily getting rid of neck pain, and it can be effective. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re having to take Ibuprofen and use the heating pad on a regular basis, it’s probably time to find a good back doctor.
4. Soak, soak, soak
Have a spa or a Jacuzzi tub? The combination of hot water and bubbles can be a good, at-home treatment for cervical pain. Even better if you are trying to get rid of neck pain may be taking a bath in Epsom Salt. “Soaking in Epsom Salt can be very helpful for the release of muscle aches and pain,” said Breaking Muscle. “It is informative to remember the actual name of Epsom Salt is Magnesium Sulfate. Among magnesium’s many functions is it will reduce the rate of calcium binding after a muscle contracts as it competes for the same binding sites as calcium, which contracts a muscle. Something as simple as an Epsom Salt bath can be of great benefit in relaxing a tight muscle.”
5. Stay hydrated
Among the many other benefits of drinking water is this: Water can also keep your vertebral discs in good shape by maintaining the water that naturally exists between them. And while this simple act you should already be doing won’t get rid of your neck pain, it can help it from progressing by keeping your cervical discs from degenerating.
Seeing a doctor
Self-diagnosing your cervical pain can be dangerous, with symptoms that can be mistaken for other more serious conditions and ailments that can progress to something dangerous without treatment. If you’re ready to see a doctor for neck pain, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate neck and back pain.