Millions of people complain about neck pain. Many of us are constantly looking down at phone screens, craning our necks at work, and not stretching enough. A stiff neck is a result of the muscles around the neck weakening and tightening over time, which is directly impacted by our sedentary lifestyles.
Therefore, relieving neck pain is about getting to the root of the problem.
What Causes Neck Pain?
You probably know the reason already. Looking down constantly or sitting in one place for an extended period of time cause the joints of the neck to get tired and overworked. Driving for long periods of time also have the same effect. Think about what you do daily, and you should be able to figure out the cause to your neck pain.
Any time you have neck pain, the pain is caused by a joint catching on muscle and pulling it or hitting nerves, or both. The pain is instant, because the body wants to protect itself from further harm.
What Are Some Solutions For Relieving Neck Pain?
Be sure to take breaks if you’ve been sitting at the computer or looking down at a smartphone for any period of time to help the muscles relax. Tilt your head from side to side slowly, then touch your chin to your chest before tilting the crown of the head back. Roll your shoulders forward and back. Draw circles with the crown of the head. All of these can help stretch out the muscles of the neck.
If your neck feels inflamed, which it probably is if it’s stiff, you might find some relief by applying ice to the back of your neck. Do this for about 10-15 minutes.
Visit the Chiropractor
Stretching and icing your neck might not be enough. In the event that your muscles are too stiff, you might need to have your muscles released by a chiropractor, who works with misaligned bones and tense muscles to restore the range of motion of your neck.
Try Some OTCs
Before bed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like an ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These two medicines work to reduce inflammation and the pain that comes from it. You will be able to sleep better—and sleep itself is wonderful for recovery.
Pain should never get in the way of your daily life, but when you have a pain in the neck, it’s time to take a break and stretch it out. If the pain ensues, contact a health professional to see what’s wrong.