Whether you are suffering from a sore neck, prolonged stiffness, or a case of whiplash, living through the discomfort of your neck injury doesn’t have to be your reality. There are plenty of ways that you can safely soothe and heal your neck (with the approval of your general physician or pain specialist, of course). In this post, we will uncover the top eight things that you can do to help make your neck injury less painful and get you on the road to recovery.
- Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy is fancy for a luxurious, tranquilizing Epsom salt bath. Draw a comfortably warm bath and plan to soak in it for fifteen to twenty minutes. Obviously, you want to make sure that your neck is fully submerged in the bath water while comfortably and properly keeping your neck secure. Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate and the magnesium is known for relaxing tense and sore muscles. This remedy is especially helpful for athletes or anyone who worked out a little too hard at the gym and is now suffering from a sore neck. Magnesium performs many important functions, and in regards to soothing muscles, is slows the rate of calcium binding in contracted muscles. When this happens, it leads to a sore or stiff neck. But magnesium can stop the soreness and stiff muscles from taking over.
- Stretch Out The Stiffness: Many people don’t need to endure a major and debilitating neck injury to experience pain and stiffness in their neck. Anyone who works long hours sitting at a desk, driving a vehicle all day long, or sitting with poor posture will eventually experience neck stiffness if the proper precautions aren’t taken. If you find yourself suffering from some minor pain and lots of stiffness in your neck, one of the best things that you can do for immediate relief is stretch out your neck. Don’t overdo it, of course, as this could only lead to further injury. For anyone sitting for long periods of time, take frequent breaks whenever possible. Use that time to try some neck stretches. The first thing you can do is roll your shoulders backwards ten times. Then you want to slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together ten times. Thirdly, steadily roll your chin towards your chest and then draw your head up toward the ceiling. Repeat this a few times and hold your head in place for thirty seconds each time. Lastly, tilt your head from side to side in a slow motion. Try to see how far you can reach your ear to your shoulder each time. Do this ten times on both sides.
- Take Care When You Sleep: Many people experience neck problems because of poor sleeping positions and they don’t even realize that the way they sleep is the culprit behind their pain. If you wake up with a sore or stiff neck on a regular basis, take a look at your mattress and pillows and make sure they offer support for your neck. If a better mattress and some new pillows don’t seem to cut it, ask a medical professional about a neck collar. This can help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort and prevent you from sleeping in poor positions. However, it is important to only use this for a short period of time as becoming dependent on it could lead to weakened neck muscles.
- Go For a Dip in The Pool: Swimming is noted to have lots of therapeutic effects on anyone who is suffering from neck pain. Being in the water not only alleviates pain almost immediately as well as long-term, but has proven to decrease inflammation and ease stiffness in the neck muscles. There is no reason to hop into the pool and start doing some high-intensity laps. If you are suffering from neck pain, you want to take it easy in the water. To start, simply get the water level up to your neck and begin doing slow movements. It’s also best if you choose a pool that is a little warmer than average; cold water will only further aggravate the pain and discomfort. If you plan on swimming to alleviate neck pain, consult with a physical therapist or other pain specialist to determine which swimming stokes are most suitable for you. For some people, swimming is too strenuous on the neck, so a better alternative would be water therapy.
- Get More Magnesium in Your Diet: As stated above when discussing the benefits of an Epsom salt bath, magnesium is very beneficial for the muscles. So if you are experiencing sore neck muscles, taking some magnesium supplements might be just what you need. Because magnesium helps muscles contract and relax more easily, it helps relieve a lot of the pain people experience from overworked neck muscles. If you don’t want to take a magnesium supplement, there are plenty of foods that are great sources of magnesium. Load up your diet with lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and certain soy products. Additionally, magnesium also comes in the form of oil so it can be used on your sore neck after a warm shower or bath.
- Invest in a Water Pillow: If traditional pillows don’t seem to cut it, try a water pillow. You can use this to prop up your neck when sitting or at night when you sleep. The more water you use in the pillow, the firmer it is and the less water you use, the softer the pillow will be. Either way, you can get the level of support you need to provide your neck with more comfort and alleviate some of the pain.
- Try Acupuncture: It isn’t for everyone, but quite a few people reported feeling substantial pain relief after regular acupuncture appointments. If you can withstand some (painless) needles, acupuncture could very well be a good remedy to alleviate your neck pain and discomfort. However, some people claim that their acupuncture therapy is more effective when they have a highly qualified acupuncturist. If you decide to try acupuncture, make sure you get some recommendations from friends or medical professionals before just choosing anyone.
- Be Aware of The Way You Use Your Phone: Most people don’t realize it, but mobile devices often play a huge role in mysterious neck pain, stiffness, and soreness. If you are talking on the phone and holding it between your neck and shoulder without your hands, you are inadvertently causing yourself neck problems. Similarly, if you are using your phone to text or scroll through social media and emails, you might have poor posture when you are doing so. Many people look at their mobile device and have their neck hunched in such a way that causes stiffness and soreness. Be aware of the way you are using your phone. Make sure you are holding it in your hand or using headphones when speaking on it and sit with proper posture when you are scrolling through your mobile device.