Neck pain can be quite debilitating. When your neck is sore and throbbing, you won't want to work or partake in your other obligations. Even activities you love, such as playing sports or playing with your kids, become irritating and painful. There are many causes of chronic neck pain, from whiplash to herniated disks. You should always work with a chiropractor, like Reinecke Chiropractor, to identify the cause of your neck pain and devise a treatment plan. There are also some pain management tactics you can use on a daily basis, regardless of the cause of your neck pain.
Change positions periodically.
The simple act of sitting or standing upright puts strain on your neck, since its muscles and ligaments must support your head. By changing your position regularly throughout the day, you help keep any one of these tissues from taking on too much strain. Try setting a timer to go off every half hour. Whenever it rings, make a minor adjustment to your position to change the way your neck is being strained. For instance, you could tilt your chair back a bit more so you're leaning back, move it forward so you're sitting up more, or move into a standing position temporarily. A common problem people face is sticking their head too far forward, which can add 10 extra pounds of pressure! So, you'll want to practice proper posture by opening up your chest, keeping your chin tucked, and keeping your head back.
When your neck is stiff, it can be tempting to just stay in bed or on the couch all day. Really, though, this is just making matters worse. When you sit around and do nothing, your muscles tense up, causing your pain to worsen when you do move again. Also, blood flow slows down, which can slow down the healing process if you're recovering from a neck injury. Try to stay active with light activities like walking, basic lawn care, and cleaning. Start slowly, and by the end of the day, you'll feel better having been active.
Ice your neck.
Lots ofl neck pain can be tied to inflammation – either of your muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Icing the affected area will help decrease the inflammation, which will, in turn, reduce your pain. Generally, leaving the ice pack in place for 20 – 30 minutes is sufficient, but you should talk to your practitioner to establish how long it is safe to ice your injury. Make sure you wrap your ice in a cloth of some sort, so it's not resting directly against your skin and putting you at risk for frostbite.
Chronic neck pain can reduce your quality of life, but only if you let it. Use the management strategies above, and you'll have an easier time staying involved with the activities you love because your neck pain will be under control.