What to do to relieve neck pain

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Neck pain is a very common complaint.

It usually occurs due to poor posture, blows or as a consequence of some joint or musculoskeletal disease, such as osteoarthritis. Learn about different remedies and tips to relieve pain here.

take care of posture

Posture is the way our body is held or supported. It can be static, that is, how the body is held when we are not moving (sleeping or sitting) or dynamic, the posture we have in movement (walking, running or bending).

Having a good posture is very important to maintain balance, and avoid discomfort and injury. The origin of your neck pain may be due to bad positions throughout the day. To avoid this, keep these tips in mind:

How to sleep

Experts recommend getting a medium-firm mattress to avoid sleeping with a hunched spine. Your head and neck should be in line with your torso, and you can place small pillows under your neck or thighs to align your spine.

stand up well

The weight should be placed towards the balls of the feet or distributed throughout the sole of the foot, you should also prevent the abdominal area from moving forward. Keep your head up and shoulders slightly back.

  • Tips to improve your body posture

Remember: You should always wear comfortable shoes when walking or standing for a long time.

Sit well

To achieve a good posture when sitting, the feet must be in contact with the ground, the head straight, aligning the cervical and dorsal spine, and the knees and hips must be flexed, forming an angle of 90° with each other.

View

If you are working, studying or reading, the book, computer, or cell phone should be at eye level (head should be upright and not bent). This advice also applies to television.

other tips

Other habits that can cause neck pain are:

  • Carry thoughtful bags on your shoulders. This can be fixed by carrying her with her arms outstretched, shoulders and neck straight, and eyes straight ahead. You’ll also need to balance the weight so you don’t force one side more than the other.
  • Hold the phone between your ear and shoulder while you talk. This can be fixed by turning to the speakerphone or using headphones.
  • Being overweight or obese. They are diseases that weaken the abdominal muscles, cause problems in the pelvis and affect the spine, contributing to neck pain. This can be solved by abandoning sedentary habits, exercising regularly and incorporating a healthy diet.
  • Smoke. Although it sounds strange, it can contribute to neck pain, since tobacco hinders the distribution of oxygen and the absorption of nutrients by the tissues of the spine and neck, favoring discomfort and injuries.

Exercises to relieve neck pain

If your neck hurts, try these exercises to find relief:

  • Looking straight ahead, lower your chin until it rests on your chest. He crosses his hands over the top of the back of his head to intensify the stretch as you hold for 5 seconds. Do three daily sessions of three repetitions each.
  • With your shoulders relaxed, tilt your head to the side as if you wanted to touch your ear to your shoulder (careful, it shouldn’t be your ear to your shoulder). Hold that position for 5 seconds. Repeat and switch sides. Do three daily sessions of three repetitions each.
  • Looking straight ahead with your shoulders relaxed, rest your chin on the side of your chest as if you wanted to look at your armpit. Hold for 5 seconds, repeat and switch sides. Do three daily sessions of three repetitions each.

compresses

To relieve neck pain, you can use hot or cold compresses. Just keep in mind the following:

  • cold compresses: they are used when there is inflammation or dull pain from a blow. The cold constricts blood vessels and decreases blood flow to the affected area, controlling inflammation.
  • hot compresses: Used for contractures (tight muscles) or chronic pain. The heat dilates the blood vessels, increases blood flow to the affected area and restores flexibility and elasticity to the ligaments and tendons.

  • Natural remedies for muscle pain

complementary and alternative medicine

In addition to the tips and exercises above, you can relieve neck pain with one of these options:

  • Acupuncture: It consists of penetrating the skin with small needles at specific points on the body to stimulate certain nerve endings in the body and relieve pain.
  • acupressure: a therapist puts pressure on certain points of the body (in this case the neck) to relieve pain.
  • transcutaneous electrical stimulation: A small box is placed over the point of pain, which sends mild electrical pulses to the nerves.
  • Use of oils: Natural medicine promotes the use of essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties to soothe neck pain, such as arnica, eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, or rosemary. You just have to dilute a couple of drops in a carrier oil (such as coconut or olive oil) and gently massage on the affected area.
  • Remember: These options should work as complements for traditional treatments recommended by a health professional, never as a substitute.

    When to visit the doctor?

    You should see a doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

    • Neck pain lasts for more than a week.
    • The neck pain was caused by an accident or fall.
    • Neck pain becomes more and more intense.
    • Neck pain prevents you from turning your head normally or moving other parts of your body.
    • You feel a strong migraine along with the neck pain.
    • You have a fever, numbness, or weakness.
    • It is also important that you do not resort to self-medication to calm neck pain, since, on certain occasions, the origin of this discomfort may not be muscular.

      Sources consulted: US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

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