Photo by Deb Kennedy
According to statistics, up to 30% of Americans experiences neck pain at least once a year. What’s more, 50% of suffers will experience ongoing neck pain, and up to 70%of adults will suffer from debilitating neck pain at least once in their life.
Neck pain can be highly uncomfortable and can also cause knock-on symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, ringing in one’s ears, impaired vision, and more.
If you’ve hurt your neck, we’re guessing you want to get rid of the pain asap—and you probably don’t want to waste your time with ineffective remedies.
The following neck solutions are proven methods you can try out to get rid of neck pain. If you implement these tips, you should be able to heal your neck over time and reduce the chances of future neck pain.
Don’t go anywhere, because we may have the solution you’ve been searching for.
USE COLD COMPRESSES TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION
When you hurt your neck, the first thing that happens is a sharp rise of inflammation in the area. This is the body’s way of protecting the injury. However, inflammation causes pain.
Therefore, if you are after instant neck pain relief, the first thing you need to do is get the inflammation down. One of the best ways to do this is by using cold compresses.
If you don’t have a specifically designed compress, no stress, simply take something cold from out of the freezer (such as ice or freezer packs), wrap it in a dishcloth and hold it against your neck. You should aim to hold the ice or freezer pack against your neck for roughly 20 minutes.
Repeat this a few times throughout the day. You should be able to see a reduction in inflammation, and with that, less pain and less swelling.
APPLY HEAT TO RELEASE TENSION
Besides applying cold compresses, you can also apply heat to a sore neck. While cold works to bring down inflammation and swelling, heat works to release tension in the affected area.
There are a number of ways you can apply heat to a sore neck. If you have a stash of hot compresses, you can heat one up in the microwave and lay it against your neck.
Another great option is to take a hot soak in the tub. While hot compresses are convenient, a warm bath will work to release tension throughout your body, so don’t skip this one if you have a tub.
Now, the question is, can you do hot and cold compresses together? Yes, you can.
Some people prefer to start off the first day with cold compresses and then switch to hot the next. However, you can also alternative hot and cold compresses from the start.
Just one tip, if you are doing both, make sure you end with a cold compress. Doing a cold compress last ensures that any excess inflammation is controlled.
Hot and cold compresses are effective natural remedies for neck pain that you can try at home, so we highly recommend that you test these out.
DO GENTLE NECK STRETCHES
If you’re after instant neck pain relief, you should also try doing some gentle neck stretches.
Take note; if you are in chronic pain, you should avoid stretches and limit movement of your neck.
However, if your neck pain is not chronic, you can gently try out some neck exercises.
Some popular neck exercises for relieving stiffness, pain, and tension are:
- Head tilts: tilting one’s head to one side (towards one’s shoulder) and then the other
- Chin tucks: tilting one’s head down towards one’s chest and tucking the chin
- Head rolls: gently rolling one’s head in half rounds, starting from the center front (head hanging down)
Be aware that full head rolls are NOT advised for those with neck pain and should be avoided.
Besides doing neck stretches such as these for some instant neck pain relief, you can also consider doing daily full-body stretches. Full-body stretching is a great way to counteract the effects of stress and realign the body.
If you are wondering where to start, a great place is with beginner’s yoga. Yoga is renowned for being relaxing, stress-busting, and realigning. What’s more, it has also been shown by research to be able to effectively combat neck pain.
GET ERGONOMIC AT WORK
One of the causes of neck pain is the misalignment of the spine and neck. One of the causes of this—is unergonomic working conditions.
If you work at a job that requires you to keep your head in a certain position for hours on end, this can place a lot of strain on the neck and back muscles. At some point, this can develop into full-blown neck pain.
One of the working environments most known for inducing neck pain, is, wait for it, the office. If you work at a desk for long periods at a time, this can be an out-and-out formula for neck pain and strain. Especially if your station isn’t ergonomic.
To start with, ensure that your elbows and knees are bent at 45 degrees when you sit at your desk to type.
Second, make sure that your screen is at eye level and directly in front of you. This is very important. If your screen is too low or too high, this means you will have to be either hunching over your monitor or craning your neck.
A further step to optimizing your work station and getting neck and shoulder pain relief is to take a hard look at your chair.
Is it even comfortable? Does it provide any lumbar support what so ever? What is your posture when you are sitting in it?
If you do this, you will probably see that your seat is doing one or both of two things. It may either cause you to slump forward or cause you to sprawl backward.
Guess what? Both of these postures are a recipe for neck pain.
If you are wondering how to get rid of neck pain, you need to address your seating. Apart from buying a whole new chair (which probably won’t be much better), you can do a quick, easy, and cost-effective fix by adding memory foam inserts to your chair.
Memory foam inserts work to give you additional lumbar support, distribute your weight evenly, and prevent you from hunching forwards or slumping back.
Because this targets your posture, over time, you might find that modifying your seating might be more effective than a host of other neck pain relief products or medications.
REDUCE SMARTPHONE TIME
While your desktop might be to blame for neck strain, there is another screen that might be putting you in pain. This is your phone.
According to sources, the average person spends four hours per day on their phone. That’s four hours, with your neck tilted downwards and your shoulders hunched forward.
If you don’t believe us, a recent study has now established a direct link between cellphone usage and neck pain.
So, if you are trying to figure out how to get rid of neck pain, one of the neck solutions you should try is going on a device diet.
Try to restrict your time spent on phones and tablets. Instead, opt for using ergonomic screens where possible, such as your desktop or television screen.
LEVERAGE MEMORY FOAM CUSHIONS FOR COMMUTES AND LONG JOURNEYS
If you are suffering from neck pain, long car trips and commutes usually don’t help.
Do you find that your car seat is uncomfortable? Does it make your back and shoulders stiff? If so, you can consider implementing the same neck solutions to your car seat as to your office chair.
By inserting a memory foam wedge cushion underneath you, you can achieve even weight distribution and better overall alignment. If your lower back seems to be triggering your neck pain, you may also want to invest in a lumbar support insert.
Lastly, if you travel to work on public transport, you might also want to look into getting a travel pillow. Memory foam travel pillows allow you to take the strain off your neck while traveling and are one of the best neck pain relief products to make long commutes more bearable when you have a sore neck.
The last thing you want to do when you have a sore neck is hit the gym. And often, it is the last thing you should be doing. If your neck pain is severe, you should aim to rest your neck as much as possible and not undergo any strenuous activity.
However, as a long term maintenance plan for keeping neck pain at bay, you may want to look at incorporating regular exercise into your routine.
It is thought that one of the causes behind neck pain is weak neck and back muscles. Recent research has supported this, with one study revealing that strength training can reduce neck pain.
Another study showed that office workers could effectively reduce neck pain with exercise.
Neck pain can be caused by strain, misalignment of the spine, or an injury. But it can also be brought on by stress. Tension and anxiety tend to make one’s muscles tighten, especially in the neck and shoulder area.
If you are suffering from high levels of ongoing stress, there is a good chance this will trigger neck pain.
To counteract the effects of stress on one’s neck, set aside small blocks of time for de-stressing activities that reset and unwind your mind.
One of the most effective stress-busting and pain-alleviating neck solutions has been shown to be meditation. According to this study, meditation can significantly improve neck pain over time.
Besides meditation, you can also engage in other soothing activities such as listening to music, doing something creative, taking a walk, etc.
Yoga can also be an effective activity to try, as not only does it stretch and realign your body (as mentioned earlier), but it also incorporates breath work, relaxation practices, and mindfulness.
If you are seeking natural remedies for neck pain and holistic neck solutions, you may want to try aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is relaxing and has also been scientifically proven to provide neck and shoulder pain relief.
If you want to try this out for your self, you can start by investing in a good humidifier and some essential oils for pain relief, inflammation, and relaxation. Some good options are:
- Rosemary oil (pain relief)
- German chamomile oil (pain relief, inflammation)
- Marjoram oil (pain relief, muscles spams, tension)
- Lavender oil (calming)
- Lemongrass oil (inflammation and swelling)
Once you have your diffuser and oils, all you need to do is pop in a few drops and let the diffuser do its magic.
One of the causes of neck pain can be the way you sleep. If you suspect that your resting hours are making your neck hurt rather than your working hours—there are a few things you should know.
Firstly, sleeping on one’s front is notorious for causing neck pain, so avoid this.
Next, a soft or sunken-in mattress can also be to blame. If your mattress is starting to look like a hammock or feels like sink city, it might be time to upgrade to something with a bit more support that will keep your spine and neck properly aligned.
But what if you sleep on your side, on a good mattress? If so, you should also take a look at your pillow and see if it is supporting your head at the right angle. If not, you might want to invest in a new pillow.
Some people also find that using a knee pillow in bed can help alleviate back and neck pain.
TRY THESE NECK SOLUTIONS TODAY
Having a sore neck can impact your ability to work, function at home, and even affect the state of your mental health.
Fortunately, these proven neck solutions can help to combat neck pain and prevent it from cropping up in the future. If you need a pain-free neck back, don’t delay in doing hot-cold treatments, releasing stress, modifying your work station, and getting into a stretching and exercising routine.
Lastly, if you need to pick up some cushion inserts to get your travel and seating setups on point, check out our health and wellness category of products. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our items, and we will be happy to help.