3 nonsurgical treatments for neck pain
Neck pain – it hinders the most routine motions of life, such as merging into oncoming traffic or turning your head to kiss a loved one. Since neck pain negatively affects everyday behavior, it can keep you from living a full and productive life. Fortunately, there are simple and conservative treatment options available to help you manage your neck pain and give you more freedom.
Causes of neck pain
Neck pain occurs for a variety of reasons, but the main thing to understand is that pain is your body’s way of signaling that something is amiss. Visiting your primary care physician or a chiropractor can give you some insight on the underlying problem. Some of the most common causes include the following:
Muscle or ligament strain
Cervical spine conditions
Treatments for neck pain
Typical pain symptoms include stiffness, tingling, twinges of pain when turning your head, limited mobility, and/or a dull achiness. Here are some recommended methods to help manage your neck pain:
Exercise – Though it may seem counterintuitive to move when you’re experiencing pain, low-impact aerobics and stretching will help manage your pain and prevent further injury. By increasing blood flow and building muscle strength, exercises such as step aerobics and Pilates will increase your flexibility, decrease your pain, and help you burn some extra calories. Maintaining a healthy weight will also reduce strain on your spine and prevent further pain.
Neck exercises – Increasing your range of motion keeps your neck limber, making daily motions easier and less painful. Two of the easiest stretches to do can be done in five minutes and only require a sturdy chair. While sitting with your spine straight and head level, practice slowly turning your head from left to right, holding it for three seconds when your chin is over one of your shoulders. Do this motion slowly and only turn as far as you can. The other exercise is the same concept, but you move your chin up and down from your collarbone to looking up at the ceiling. If you practice these movements every day, you will increase your range of motion, strengthen your neck, and reduce your pain.
Lifestyle adjustments – Evaluate your daily routine and try to determine if any habitual actions are worsening your neck pain. Perhaps you have poor posture when driving or your computer screen is far too low, causing unnecessary strain on your neck muscles. Adjust your pillow or sleeping position to support your head at night. If you have children, pay attention to how you pick them up, give them baths, and play with them. We typically ignore these daily activities, but minor changes could eliminate their painful consequences.
If conservative treatments do not alleviate your pain or if your discomfort continually worsens, contact Laser Spine Institute for a complimentary initial consultation today.