Neck pain is one of the most common ailments of all. Who among us has never suffered from this discomfort due to contractures or tensions of the muscles that surround the neck and that do not allow us to move it normally.
This pain is mainly linked to poor posture, for example when we work, watch television or spend a lot of time in front of the computer.
The good news is that there are several ways to train and strengthen the muscles of the cervical area and thus avoid the annoying neck pain.
Furthermore, by assuming certain postures you can avoid muscle contractures and, if you already suffer from this disorder, our advice will help you to alleviate the symptoms.
Read on to learn about the best remedies to treat neck pain .
What is neck pain and what are its triggers?
The expression “neck pain” refers to aches or pains that affect the neck area, ie muscles, vertebrae, bones and intervertebral discs.
One of the most common causes of this disorder is the contracture of the neck muscles caused by daily activities. Sleeping in an uncomfortable position, hunched over your desk for hours.
Hold your computer monitor too high or too low, or twist and turn your neck in brusque movements while exercising.
Other causes of neck pain can be: fibromyalgia, cervical arthrosis, rupture of an intervertebral disc or small fractures due to osteoporosis.
If neck pain is accompanied by fever, headache and neck stiffness, see your doctor immediately as it could be meningitis.
What to do in case of neck pain caused by muscle contractures?
If you already suffer from neck pain, you can follow these tips:
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen.
- Apply ice to the affected area for the first few days, then switch to heat therapy by applying a heat pillow or hot packs.
- Do exercises such as: moving your head very slowly from side to side, bringing the ear closer to the shoulder, then up and down. These exercises help to gently stretch the muscles in the neck area.
- If by following these tips the pain only partially decreases, then you can contact a professional massage therapist. The neck massages, if done properly by a specialist, can relieve muscle tension.
- Only a doctor will be able to prescribe stronger pain relievers, muscle relaxants and, if necessary, a cervical collar.
How to avoid neck muscle contractures?
- You can use relaxation techniques and exercises to get rid of stress and relax your muscles, for example yoga, meditation or any other discipline that helps you relax.
- Do some stretching exercises for the neck muscles.
- Assume a correct posture when working at your desk or in front of the computer: your back should be straight and well supported on the backrest, while the monitor should be at eye level.
- Don’t spend too much time in the same position. Change your position every hour, do some stretching exercises for the neck and to relax a bit, before returning to work.
- Make sure you use a pillow that fits the shape of your neck. Make sure you sleep on a mattress that is firm enough to support your body without sinking it.
Neck pain is one of the reasons why people go to the doctor more often, as well as one of the most common reasons why they are absent from work.
However, by following these tips you can prevent neck pain and help alleviate it if necessary.