The neck takes quite a beating from everyday living. You may be all too acquainted with the pain in your neck and shoulders caused by constantly hunching over a computer screen or holding the phone up to your ear. Chronic neck discomfort usually develops gradually over time. In most cases, this kind of thing develops slowly over time. Arthritis and degenerative disc disease may be triggers, while poor posture, weakening muscles, stress, and lack of sleep can all aggravate the problem. Finding the remedy that works best for your neck discomfort may take some trial and error. The following are some tried and tested suggestions for neck discomfort that your Healthcare Pain Centers LLC specialist recommends.
Apply heat or ice
If you are experiencing discomfort in the neck, experimenting with different temperatures may relieve you. Ice is ideal for minimizing swelling and pain in the first few post-injury days. But heat may aid in relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow to the region.
Both heat and cold have physiological impacts, but they may also serve as a distraction from discomfort. Icy or warm? That is a matter of taste. You might also try using a hot pack first, followed by a cold compress a few hours later, to feel comfortable. It is important to tune in to what your body wants and needs.
NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) are two examples of pain medicines that might be used, although acetaminophen is another option (Tylenol, others). Always follow your doctor’s advice while taking any new drug. Excessive usage may result in dangerous consequences. If over-the-counter pain medicines aren’t doing the trick, your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or muscle relaxants.
Select a neck-supporting chair
Extra strain is put on the spine when you lean forward with a forward head position. Keeping the head in a neutral position relative to the cervical spine over the day will help alleviate discomfort. You might think about obtaining a chair with a headrest and utilizing it so that your cervical spine remains neutral. Ensure your ears are above your shoulders and your head is propped up on the headrest. Use the headrest in a vehicle or a chair whenever you can. Make sure the top third of your computer screen is at eye level while working on a screen. Think about getting a standing desk, as it puts us in a more natural posture and discourages us from slouching.
A physical therapist may instruct patients on improving their posture, spinal alignment, and neck strength. The use of heat, ice, or other pain relievers may also be part of your physical therapy.
Acupuncturists target particular places on the body by inserting small, sterile needles. Several acupuncture treatments may be necessary for optimal results. When trained professionals use only sterilized needles, acupuncture is usually considered safe.
In most cases, neck discomfort isn’t something to worry about, but if it is accompanied by additional symptoms like pain spreading down an arm or leg, weakness, or numbness, you should consult a doctor. Neck discomfort accompanied by other symptoms, such as a fever or weight loss, may raise some red flags.