How To Get Rid Of Cervical Pain?
Cervical pain or a stiff neck can be caused by several things, including poor posture, muscle tension, sleeping in an awkward position, or a herniated disc. Whatever the cause, it can be extremely uncomfortable and make it difficult to move your head or neck.
If you try to crack your neck, it can also cause additional pain and irritation. It may cause the cartilage to tear and the surrounding muscles to spasm. This can lead to arthritis and further damage to the spine.
Read more: Can Crack My Neck Cause Arthritis?
There are, however, several simple and effective methods to get rid of a stiff neck or cervical pain:
1. Try To Relax the Muscles in Your Neck and Shoulders
Relaxation is the key to treating many types of pain, including a stiff neck. When your muscles are tense, they can pinch the nerves running through them, which can cause pain.
To relax your neck and shoulder muscles:
-take a hot shower or bath
-use a heating pad on your neck or shoulders for 15-20 minutes at a time
-massage your neck and shoulders with your hands, a massage ball, or a foam roller
2. Use Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers
You may need to take medication if relaxation techniques don’t relieve your pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help. Follow the instructions on the package.
For example, ibuprofen can irritate your stomach. If you have heartburn, take it with food.
3. Apply an Ice Pack
If you have a stiff neck or cervical pain, applying an ice pack will be a simple and effective way to get relief. Ice can help reduce inflammation and swelling, which can contribute to pain.
To use an ice pack, wrap it in a thin towel and apply it to the affected area for 15-20 minutes. You may do this several times a day as needed.
4. Do Neck Exercises and Stretches
Stretching and strengthening your neck muscles can help relieve pain and prevent further injury. You can do some simple exercises and stretches at home. These include:
Shoulder shrugs: Lift your shoulders to your ears, then release.
Head nods: Drop your chin to your chest, then slowly lift it back up.
Neck rotations: Slowly turn the head from side to side.
Ear-to-shoulder stretches: Gently pull your ear down toward your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat on the other side.
Chin tucks: Gently press your chin back toward your neck. Hold for a few seconds, then release.
5. Use a Pillow That Supports Your Head and Cervical Spine When Sleeping
If you sleep on the back, choose a pillow that keeps the head and neck in neutral alignment with your spine. A pillow that is too high can cause tension in your neck, while a pillow that is too low can cause strain.
If you sleep on a side, choose a pillow the same height as the distance between your ear and outside shoulder. This will help keep your head and neck in line with your spine.
For treating cervical pain in Chicago, call Gateway Spine and Pain Physicians. We have a range of options to treat your pain.