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How to Manage Your Neck Pain at Home

Office Worker Male Suffering From Neck Pain. Male Feeling Tired,Are you are suffering from a ‘pain in the neck’ type of pain..?

Recent research suggests that seeing a Chiropractor or engaging in light exercise relieves neck pain more effectively than relying on pain medication… But what if you are stuck at home during the current COVID-19 restrictions and unable to visit your regular Chiropractor..?

Our Chiropractor DC Hadley James-Brown has written the following advice for anyone struggling with musculoskeletal neck pain.

1. Use Hot and Cold Packs to Help Manage Your Symptoms.

If your neck pain is acute (i.e. recent onset) use an ice pack (frozen peas or something similar from the freezer). It is important to wrap the ‘ice pack’ in a cloth to protect your skin from freezer burns, but ensure the ice is not insulated as this defeats of the objective of icing! This will provide natural pain relief and possibly some anti-inflammatory benefits. Apply for 15-20 minutes several times during the day.

Heat can help relax tight muscles and ease stiff joints, particularly when a problem is chronic (i.e. longer term). One can use a hot water bottle, or a “wheat/bean bag”, or an electric heat pad.

It is best to apply heat or ice pack when lying down in a comfortable position. This will prevent one from adopting a poor postural position whilst applying the remedy.

2. Keep The Neck Mobile- despite it causing some pain.

Providing your neck pain is not severe, keeping the neck mobile whilst maintaining your normal life routine is important in making a full recovery. Out-dated advice suggested rest and immobility as a cure for back and neck problems. However, although it may seem counterintuitive to move your neck when it is painful, more recent research now indicates that movement is beneficial. Think ‘motion is lotion’.

3. Use Painkillers (unless recommended NOT TO by your GP).

Reducing pain with OTC medication (paracetemol &/or ibuprofen) will assist you when trying to keep you neck mobile.  Please ask your pharmacist or your GP for advice/permission when taking the aforementioned drugs, despite being available over the counter, not all medicine is suitable for everyone.

4. Stretch Your Neck Muscles.

Stretching is an important part of your recovery when suffering from neck pain. Not only will the correct stretches help to reduce your neck pain but will also improve your neck’s function. The following video has a comprehensive selection of great exercises https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_aGW9GMu8g

5. Avoid Aggravating Activities.

Aggravating activities may include looking down at screens, doing small work or painting ceilings. Although a passive activity, sleeping on your front is a common contributor to neck pain. Whatever position you are in during the day, remember to take regular breaks to move and vary your neck position.

6. Remember to Keep Calm and to be Positive

Suffering from neck pain can have strong emotional connections. Stress and tension are often contributors to neck pain, but suffering from neck pain can in itself also be very upsetting.

As such, keeping a positive and calm attitude can help prevent some tension related neck problems, and will ultimately give you a better prognosis in making a full recovery faster! Ways to keep positive and calm specially in stressful situations include activities such as meditating, yoga, and general exercise. It is also worth remembering that most people experience musculoskeletal pain at some point in their life. You are not alone!

Please note that this advice is for simple mechanical musculoskeletal pain. Should you suffer from any other cause of neck pain, please speak to your GP or Chiropractor before doing any exercise.

Our Chiropractic Team are available throughout the COVID-19 crisis to offer Telephone Advice and Emergency Treatment where needed.

If you would like to contact us for more advice regarding a musculoskeletal problem, please click Here.

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