At some point in your life, you will likely experience neck pain. You may strain your neck from sitting in front of a computer all day, or perhaps the everyday stresses of life build up over time, creating a chronic tension ache. In either case, you can ease your neck troubles at home, through gentle exercise, stretching, and relaxation.
Ice Vs. Heat
Typically, if you injure yourself, everyone advises you to put ice on the injured area. But what if you have lingering or chronic pain–is ice or heat better? Ice is good for relieving acute injuries that involve swelling and inflammation. General achiness, however, usually isn’t accompanied by inflammation, and responds better to heat. Lie down or sit with your neck in a comfortable position, and apply a heating pad–or ice pack, if you’re dealing with a new injury–and relax for 15 to 20 minutes. This heat or ice therapy can be repeated two to three times a day.
Often, chronic Neck Pain is a result of tight muscles in our neck and upper back, particularly the upper trapezius. Stretch the side of the neck by gently tilting your right ear toward your right shoulder, and hold this position for thirty seconds. Repeat on the left side. For a second stretch that should also relax your upper back, turn your head toward the right. Maintaining this turn, gently move your chin down and feel the stretch along the left side of your neck and into the left upper back. Hold this position for thirty seconds. Repeat this stretch on the other side.
By strengthening the supporting musculature in the middle and upper back, you can allow your neck to relax more during everyday activities. One effective strength exercise involves retraction of your shoulder blades. Start by standing, with your arms at your sides, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Exhale as you squeeze your shoulder blades together behind your back, making sure your shoulders stay down and away from your ears. Inhale and release back to neutral position. You should feel the muscles working between your shoulder blades. Repeat this movement to complete a set of ten repetitions. You may perform this exercise daily.
Oftentimes, poor posture, especially when working at a computer, can lead to neck and shoulder pain. Sit fully upright and not rounded forward as you work, because sitting in this poor posture tends to force the head and neck backward, causing neck stress. Be sure that you have proper head and neck support where you sit and lie down. Your pillow should maintain neutral alignment of your neck and spine, neither allow your head to drop down nor tilt up. Also, try not to fall asleep while sitting up, as the tendency is to let your head drop backward or sideways, thereby straining your neck muscles.
How To Relief From Neck Pain, Last Updated: 7/1/2018