Many neck pain patients want to avoid surgery and long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, exercise routines often are not enough on their own, so here are seven lesser-known strategies to bolster your recovery efforts.
Unique neck pain relief tactics
#1 – Swimming
Swimming isn’t just an enjoyable pastime. It is also anti-inflammatory, enhances range of motion, and accomplishes neck pain relief.
If you want to get the most out of your time in the water, sink yourself down until the water reaches your neck. Gradually start exercising. Then go just a bit lower, so that it hits your chin. Sway to either side.
“If you do not own a pool or can’t get to a community pool in the summers or an indoor pool in the winters,” noted Stephanie Burke of Spine-health, “take a bath every night to gain a similar therapeutic benefit.”
#2 – Water pillow
A water pillow allows you to adjust to whatever softness or firmness feels right to you.
#3 – Melatonin
Sometimes chronic pain can cause sleep disruptions. A melatonin supplement can help. By allowing your body to get substantial sleep, an increase in the hormone can expedite the healing of your neck.
#4 – Magnesium
Neck pain often occurs when the muscles become sprained or strained. Because that’s the case, Burke advised getting extra magnesium.
“Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps contract and relax muscles,” she said, “and a supplement may help you avoid neck muscle pain.”
You can get magnesium through supplements, Epsom salt baths, or through foods such as:
· Sesame seeds
· Sunflower seeds
· Pumpkin seeds
#5 – Holistic relaxation
Since stress is typically a cause of neck pain, you can often improve the condition with simple relaxation methods, such as meditation and aromatherapy. Many patients incorporate these strategies into their daily bedtime ritual.
#6 – Avoidance
It can also help to limit or modify anything you do that makes the pain worse. Painful tasks may include lifting, driving, or even working at the office. Modification can also help: try an ergonomic setup in your workspace and cushioning your neck with a towel in the car.
#7 – Ice in unlikely places
Often pain in the neck and shoulders is accompanied by discomfort elsewhere in the body. Patients can achieve neck pain relief by creatively applying ice between the eyebrows, on the mastoid bone behind the ear, and to the soft tissue between the thumb and pointer finger.
Advanced non-surgical solutions
Some people have found that the above lesser-known approaches to neck pain relief are incredibly helpful. If you feel you need a more advanced medical solution, our Spinal Rejuvenation Therapy Program treats your chronic neck and shoulder pain safely, non-surgically, and without the use of drugs.