Do you suffer from neck pain? Let me share seven tips to relieve neck pain.
As a family nurse practitioner, I treat my patients for other issues than hormonal imbalance. Neck pain is very common and needs to be addressed. The main cause of neck pain is mechanical issues meaning that your neck is out of alignment. Your vertebrae are not lined up properly, and you lose lordosis, the natural curve of the cervical spine. Your neck muscles become very tight trying to prevent your misaligned vertebrae from slipping and impinging nerves. Impingement of the nerve roots coming from the spinal cord can cause headaches as well as tingling, numbness and pain in your arms. You can also have neck pain from old injuries, particularly whiplash or compression injuries causing your disc between the vertebrae to be pushed into the nerve roots.
With age, it’s not uncommon to see a lack of vertebral height as the bones in the spinal column start to collapse from osteoporosis and the discs become flattened from dehydration and poor circulation. You can check your cervical alignment by standing up against a wall with your heels up against the baseboard, your bottom up against the wall and let your shoulders touch the wall. If you have to push your head back to touch the wall, you’ve lost the natural curve in the cervical spine, meaning your neck is out of alignment. When you get back into alignment, your head naturally touches the wall when your shoulders do. A lot of the mechanical issues have to do with body mechanics.
Using moist or dry heat on your neck for ten minutes before stretching or exercising helps relieve tight muscles.
Massage your neck muscles
Massaging your neck can help. One easy way to do it is to take a couple of tennis balls and put them into a sock and tie the sock off so that the tennis balls are just far enough apart that when you lay your neck on then, there’s a space for your vertebrae between the tennis balls. Then roll them along your neck muscles and down in between your scapulas.
Gently stretching your neck muscles can help relieve pain and is best after heating up your muscles. Start by rolling your head gently, to the side, forward, other side and back. Then gently let your head drop to your shoulder, then the other shoulder.
After heat and massage and stretching, you should ice the area to get some of that inflammation down. Apply ice for five to 10 minutes.
Try the Egoscue Method
A great exercise that I personally have used to help with neck pain are the Egoscue method. You can find the neck exercises online. They’re kind of odd and need to be practiced in the recommended order every day to be effective.
Improve body mechanics
If you’re going to prevent your neck pain, you must improve your body mechanics. If you are on your phone and your head is tilted down constantly, you’re going to have neck pain. Same with your computer so pay attention to your body mechanics and adjust your workstation accordingly. Then throughout the day, get out of the offending position and stretch your neck.
Sleep with a cervical pillow
A cervical pillow is a little firmer and has a bit of a bump in it that actually supports the natural curve of your neck. If you’re a side sleeper like me, then the bump needs to be smaller. And you must be sure you get a cervical pillow that fits you. I’ve had the same cervical pillar pillow for like 15 years and using it to sleep every night makes a big difference.
If you have any questions regarding neck pain, please join me in our Hormone Support Group, which you can access by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.