If you’ve ever suffered from neck pain, you might know the uneasiness and discomfort that comes with it.
For different reasons, around half of the global population experiences neck pain in adulthood. It is a common symptom of various diseases and injuries such as spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, ruptured discs, physical and mental stress, bad posture, tumors, and other medical problems.
It could also be due to poor sleeping habits, trauma from car accidents, sports-related injuries, or carrying a huge load, resulting in stiffness, increased muscle tension, and muscle spasms.
You may experience either radicular neck pain, which radiates to the shoulders or arms, or axial neck pain, which is present in the neck.
If left untreated, some neck pain can worsen into more severe symptoms, such as headaches and arm pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
You can help yourself by adopting the following techniques to cure neck pain in a variety of ways:
1. Chiropractic care
Numerous studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care for treating neck discomfort. It is a non-invasive and alternative medicine approach that might help you get rid of your neck pain and associated symptoms.
It emphasizes the body’s innate capacity for self-healing while focusing on the spine and how it impacts the musculoskeletal and brain systems.
Chiropractic treatment does not have a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, it is personalized for each patient.
You can get a qualified Chiropractor to examine your entire spine, which may include the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions (lower back region), if you’ve been in an accident and have a severe neck injury.
Through treatment, the chiropractor pushes a joint beyond its normal range of motion by applying a controlled, abrupt force with hands or with a tiny device to a spinal joint to enhance its movement.
You might hear popping or cracking as the chiropractor manipulates your joints during the treatment.
They might also give you recommendations on your food, ways to manage your stress, and lifestyle goals in addition to addressing your neck problems.
2. Using Heat and Ice
One approach to treating aches and pains is to apply heat.
You can use ultrasound heating in the affected area or heated pads. It works to ease pain and promote healing in several ways- boosting the area’s blood flow, oxygen uptake rate, joint stiffness, inflammation, and muscular spasm relief.
You can also use ice packs in cold therapy as they can have the same beneficial effects on pain as heating. During the first 48 hours, you can relieve pain by applying cold, using an ice pack or ice wrapped with a towel, for up to 15 minutes several times a day.
Ice therapy helps ease pain and swelling, while heat therapy may aid muscular relaxation and increase blood flow and healing nutrients to the affected area.
Their application should only last 15 or 20 minutes, with at least a 2-hour rest to allow the skin to heal.
3. Using medication
Oral and topical medications, among others, can help ease the discomfort brought on by back and neck pain prescribed by a doctor.
In most cases, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol, the most popular pain medication for relieving neck pain.
It can offer momentary relief for back or neck pain that is mild to moderate and might influence the central nervous system by lowering levels of glutamate, the brain chemical that triggers pain signals. It then blocks prostaglandins, which are involved in the brain’s heat-regulating region delivering a cooling impact.
You can also use a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)to ease pain and reduce swelling.
Some people use anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen to lessen the acute pain, soreness, swelling, and stiffness associated with arthritis.
4. Wearing a Cervical Collar
Cervical or soft collars can help you a lot if you do not want to go for any medication or severe treatment. However, it depends on the intensity of the pain.
Soft collars that fit around the neck are made of foam rubber, polyethylene, or occasionally an inflatable cuff. They restrict side-to-side movement while allowing some range of motion, primarily forward and backward.
They can relieve chronic neck pain, especially in elderly persons, and speed up healing after whiplash and neck sprains.
These collars rest just below your jaw and fit tightly around your neck. Some doctors may prescribe them to treat mild neck pain temporarily, as they may be able to reduce discomfort by relieving pressure on the neck.
However, if worn for longer, they may cause more harm than help. However, worn for longer may cause more harm than help.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment in which needles are inserted into points on the skin to encourage the passage of energy. It has been used to treat various illnesses by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners for many thousand years.
The insertion of an acupuncture needle increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and releases neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. This helps relieve pain and relax the muscles. Acupuncturists choose specific points to stimulate during neck pain treatments based on a patient’s symptoms, medical history, and if they have improved with previous treatments.
It is sometimes used in conjunction with other therapies. These could consist of relaxing methods, aromatherapy, and massage.
It is crucial to remember that the needles only pierce the skin’s surface layer and are typically painless.
6. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy frequently involves pressing soft tissues with the hands, such as the muscles and tendons, to stimulate blood flow, relax tension in the muscles, and foster feelings of improved wellness.
It is typical for people to seek massage therapy from a therapist, physical therapist, or another competent health practitioner when they experience persistent neck discomfort and stiffness.
Swedish is the most common kind of massage, which uses lengthy, fluid strokes while applying oil or lotion.
7. Using epidural corticosteroid injections
The primary objective of cervical epidural corticosteroid injections is to assist in managing chronic pain brought on by irritation and inflammation of the spinal nerve roots in your neck—the cervical area of your spine. An anti-inflammatory drug, such as a steroid or corticosteroid, is injected into the epidural space surrounding the spinal nerves in your neck.
The steroid acts to lessen swelling and pressure on the nerves by coating the irritated nerves that are causing you discomfort and providing time for the nerves to recover.
Most of the time, cervical epidural steroid injections result in momentary pain alleviation; however, it may not work for some patients.
Neck pains are challenging to deal with and can leave you feeling queasy and unproductive. Even when they can eventually go away on their own with time, ignoring the pain can be difficult and potentially worsen the situation.
As mentioned above, several ways can help eliminate the pain. We hope the preceding advice will provide you with some insight into how to treat your neck pain.