Neck pain is a very common problem. If you have been dealing with it for any period of time you probably already know that hunching over a computer all day and/or carrying a heavy bag is probably the cause of your pain. But since it is often not realistic to just "eliminate the cause," this blog post will teach you how to relieve neck pain in the short term while you find a more sustainable solution to finally get rid of neck pain all together.
Step 1: Hydrate Properly
I know this may sound like a strange suggestion for getting rid of neck pain, but the truth is blood flow is very important to managing your problem. Regardless of the cause of your neck pain, there is surely some level of muscle involvement, meaning you have knots or trigger points in areas in and around your neck. Keeping hydrated (drinking a lot of water) will give your body the raw material it needs to keep your blood circulation strong. This will allow the blood to get through the impacted area, giving your muscles the nourishment they need to relax and stop the spasms that are causing much of your pain.
Step 2: Stretch
Stretching those tense muscles is extremely important for getting rid of neck pain. Stretching increases blood flow, which we already covered above so I won't repeat it here. Stretching also releases endorphins - your bodies natural pain killers. Endorphins will reduce your perception of the neck pain almost immediately after stretching, and the effects can last for a little while. If you can stretch and then walk around for 5 minutes before going back to your screen that will help the effects last longer.
Here is a video we made that will show you some easy stretches for neck pain:
Step 3: Use Heat
And don't use ice!! Seriously, this is an amazingly dorky argument that has raged in the acupuncture-chiropractic-physical therapy world for a while now. If you want the whole schpiel on heat vs. ice check out this recent blog post, but for our purposes here suffice it to say that heat will increase the blood flow through your neck, and this is very important to relax the muscles and stop the neck pain.
Step 4: Massage Your Muscles
If a professional massage is not in your budget right now, we've compiled this handy list of the Best Acupressure Points to Relieve Neck Pain.
Step 5: Get Acupuncture!
Ok, I admit I am biased. But the fact is that at City Acupuncture we have successfully treated thousands (I'm talking about thousands) of people for neck pain with acupuncture, trigger point acupuncture, and/or massage therapy. It's worth at least checking out a local place to see if this is an option for you.
I hope this post is able to help you finally get rid of your neck pain. Even if acupuncture isn't right for you, at very least do the heat, stretching, self-massage and water. It is very likely you will find some level of relief from these four strategies.
For more strategies for dealing with neck pain at home, get your copy of our free ebook!