Some Ways and Techniques to Relieve Neck Pain

Neck pain is a very common problem, as eight of ten Americans will complain of neck or back pain at some point in their lives. The causes of neck pain vary from muscle strain stemming from overuse to degenerative neurological conditions. For the most part, general neck pain is not a sign of a serious problem and will go away on its own. Several types of home care can help sufferers get neck pain relief.

  • Stretching exercises. Moving the neck from side to side and holding it in position for around thirty seconds can help relieve pain due to overuse. Stretching the neck daily under the direction of a doctor can also give neck pain relief through prevention. This type of stretching can improve posture and help with muscle strength.
  • Hot and cold compresses. Alternating between hot and cold maximizes relief by reducing inflammation while also promoting muscle relaxation. An ice pack applied up to twenty minutes a day can reduce swelling, and a hot shower or heating device and help relax soreness.
  • Rest. Too much rest can cause more stiffness in the neck, but lying down every so often can give a person neck pain relief by taking the burden of holding up the head off the neck muscles.

Sometimes neck pain is too severe, too frequent, or too unresponsive for home care treatment alone. In these cases, it is important to see a doctor. Common treatments for neck pain under these circumstances include:

  • Short-term collar use. Immobilizing the neck using a padded collar may provide neck pain relief by taking strain off the muscles in the neck; however, most medical professionals advise against using this device long-term, as it can promote weakness and further problems.
  • Traction. This is a type of physical therapy that uses pulley and weights to gently stretch muscles while keeping the neck immobilized. If done correctly by a physical therapist, this can be a very effective way of achieving neck pain relief.
  • Steroid injections. This solution is for severe neck pain that stems from nerve irritation. Steroids help the nerves in the muscles calm down. Other pain-reducing agents can be given in injection form as well.

Neck pain can negatively affect quality of life, so it’s important for sufferers to find a treatment that works for them. If neck pain is persistent, a trip to the doctor’s office is needed. A doctor will generally ask the exact location and type of pain being experienced. For advanced cases, a doctor may refer out to a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in joint diseases and arthritis), a neurologist (a doctor who deals with the nervous system), or an orthopedic surgeon (a doctor who does operations on bones).

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About Dr. Jose Guevara

Dr. Jose Guevara, DC is board-certified in chiropractic medicine, therapeutic modalities and physiotherapy. He is passionate about health and well-being. Dr. Guevara helps people attain and maintain their optimal physical condition. He continues to keep up with the ever-changing world of medicine, using his knowledge and skills to help people in pain.

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