Finding the right neck pain treatment is not easy--especially today with such a range of options available. But it is as important as ever. Getting relief for your neck pain can mean the difference between leading a happy, fulfilling life, and dealing with the suffering day to day. Neck pain is more than a nuisance--and it’s not only physically debilitating, neck pain impacts your psychological and emotional state according to a study published by the National Institute of Health. Persistent neck pain, even in its mildest form, limits range of motion and distracts you throughout the day, limiting your ability to concentrate and even impacting performance at work. While there are neck pain treatment options for just about every type of neck pain, not all of them are effective. The stronger narcotic pain relievers may work but can lead to addiction and certain therapies might not completely solve your neck problems. Today you have your choice of treatments for neck pain including narcotic and non-narcotic alternatives. There’s massage, acupuncture, TENS electrical pain relief, simple rest, diet changes and more. Choose your treatment carefully after considering all the options and studying their benefits, cost and convenience. These are some of the best treatment options for neck pain. Learn them all so you can choose a treatment that is safe, effective and convenient for the pain relief you need when you want it without side effects.
Neck Pain Treatment Options
Pain relievers provide nearly instant relief from neck pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter medicines are frequently used to treat neck pain. However, these may not work on more severe types of neck pain. Narcotic pain relievers are sometimes prescribed to treat severe neck pain symptoms. These products do carry the risk of addiction. Consult your doctor before starting any pain treatment.
Electronic Pain Relief (TENS)
TENS units are an effective treatment for neck pain. TENS provides electrical stimulation that confuses pain signals providing immediate pain relief. There are units designed to treat neck, back and shoulder pain. These wearable units can be used at home for added convenience and place you at no risk of addiction.
For serious neck pain caused by neck injuries, sprains, and fractures a common course of treatment is immobilization. A neck brace is the most common way to immobilize the neck. This reduces strain and allows for healing.
Neck Exercises & Stretching
Exercises can help strengthen muscles and both prevent and treat neck pain. The neck is made up of a complex network of muscles. Strengthening the right parts of the neck can help with posture and treat symptoms. Stretching can loosen muscles, reduce tightening and alleviate pain.
Hydration and Diet Changes
Staying hydrated can help with certain types of neck pain. Your neck muscles and the discs in your cervical area require water to perform properly. Muscles can cramp when they lack the proper hydration. So, drinking a glass of water and staying hydrated throughout the day can help reduce neck pain.
Sleep Positioning & Posture Adjustments
A stiff neck from sleeping is very common. Try using a different sleep position, and get a pillow that has ample filling and can support your neck in the position you choose. Chronic stiff neck that occurs in the morning is a real sign of improper sleep positioning.
Use the proper positioning for tasks you do on a daily basis. If you work in an office, set your monitors on a stand to bring them to eye-level. This will keep your posture straighter while working at a desk.
Performing physical therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve your posture. Stronger muscles are less likely to fatigue, strain, and they can even prevent cervical sprains. This can reduce neck pain and improve your overall well-being.
More Neck Pain Questions and Answers
Have more questions about neck pain? There are hundreds of things to know and understand. These top FAQs about neck pain can get you started in the right direction.
How to Relieve Neck Pain
You can relieve neck pain by taking medications like common OTC pain killers, using non-narcotic therapies like a heating pad, ice packs, or TENS units, or through exercise, physical therapy and stretching. In some cases, simply resting will help to relieve neck pain. Using a heat pad helps to loosen up muscles and the deep radiating heat can relieve soreness in muscles near your spine. Icing neck pain does the opposite, it reduces swelling, which is also a major cause of stiffness and pain in the neck area.
How to Get Rid of Neck Pain that is Recurring or Chronic
Some types of neck pain recur frequently, even after treatment helps to relieve the pain temporarily. In these cases something you are doing during your day is causing the neck pain. If neck pain continues or starts up again regularly after treatment, think about what caused the neck pain. Waking up with a stiff neck means your neck pain is caused by sleeping in the wrong position, changing your sleeping posture or using the right pillow for your sleep position helps reduce occurrences (see neck pain from sleeping wrong). Did you perform a task like sitting at a computer all day, or repetitive motions involving your arms, shoulders and neck? If yes, changing your posture or the way in which you do these repetitive motions can help reduce instances. You can also perform neck exercises to strengthen the neck muscles and this may get rid of recurring neck pain due to repetitive tasks. Changing your posture is also a good idea. If you sit at a desk all day and stare at a screen, try using a straighter posture. Raise you monitors to eye level to help with this. Stand and walk during the day to give yourself a break. If possible, use a sit-stand desk.
How to Get Rid of Neck Pain Caused by Sleeping in the Wrong Position
Sleeping in the wrong position is a top cause of neck pain. You can get rid of this type of neck pain by changing how you sleep and by using the right pillow. A fully stuffed pillow that can provide real support for your neck is the best option. The right pillow cradles the neck and keeps it lifted up off the bed. If your head is tilting back during sleep because your pillow is under-stuffed, this is a sign you need a better pillow. You can apply heat and ice, or try stretching for relief of this type of pain. A TENS unit will provide fast, effective and immediate relief for neck pain caused by sleeping, its also very affordable and non-habit forming.
What's the Best Treatment for Neck Pain?
The best treatment for neck pain really depends on the type of pain you're experiencing, and what caused the pain in the first place. However, some treatments like narcotic and natural pain relievers will relieve most types of neck pain including those from sprains, strains, injury, repetitive motion and stiff neck. A TENS Unit is a safe and effective treatment that is non-habit forming for nearly any type of neck pain. Other treatments for neck pain like exercises, physical therapy, and immobilization work on specific types of pain and should be prescribed by a professional. Always consult your doctor before seeking any type of treatment.