Neck Pain and Habits to Help
Neck pain can definitely be something that interferes with your life on a daily basis. In fact, severe neck pain can prevent you from working, participating in sports and even relaxing while you’re watching TV. There are many reasons you could have acute or chronic neck pain, and thankfully, there are a few ways to get some help to reduce the pain you are feeling in your neck.
Natural Ways to Treat Neck Pain
- Perform Neck Exercises – There are some great exercises that can help alleviate acute neck pain. Lateral raises are a great way to release the strain on your neck. Just two minutes of lateral raises five times a week can really improve neck and back pain. This can be done with 3-5 pound weights and arms raised out to the sides until weights are parallel with the ground with palms down. Lower and repeat. A chin tuck is also another move that can relieve neck pain. This is performed by drawing your chin back without dropping it to your chest. Hold this for two seconds and release. Repeat until you’re tired.
- See a Chiropractor – For a truly re-aligning experience, consider a chiropractor. The Chiropractic Health Center of Bristol is a great place to visit if you are in the northeast. Dr. David Spitz has been specializing in treating neck pain since 1982. He has literally seen thousands of patients and still performs over 500 treatments per month. He is someone who will consider the whole package and determine the best course of treatment for you. Using all of the techniques in his arsenal, he can find the root cause of your neck pain and develop manual manipulation techniques, exercise plans, and even a diet that can help ensure your neck is working at its best. If you are not responding to care, he will either send for x-rays, and MRI or to the appropriate specialist. He works with neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, physical therapists, massage therapists and others to create the team you need.
- Stay off Belly – Lying on your belly with your head cocked to the side can be the cause of your neck discomfort. Sleeping on your back or on your side can allow your neck to stay in a comfortable and natural position. Try to limit yourself to one supportive pillow.
- Relax – Many neck issues are a byproduct of stress and anxiety. The stress of everyday life is something that is unavoidable, but learning to control it is key. Using meditation and yoga can reduce stress and increase your ability to manage pain. There is a supplement called Relax Already that I recommend in my office; it has all-natural ingredients that can help to alleviate stress and anxiety. It has the power of valerian root, lemon balm, chamomile flower, passion flower, and cramp bark. It also contains magnesium. They work together to act as a natural muscle relaxant.
- Stand Taller – When you are in front of a mirror, take the time to eyeball your form as you reset your posture. Pull your head back and make sure your ears are aligned over your shoulders. Pull your shoulders down as well. Try to stand tall as you go through your day.
- Switch your Load – If you are prone to carrying a heavy bag or briefcase, consider lightening the load or switching the arm that has to carry it. Having a one-sided weight is detrimental to the health of your neck and back. Try to distribute weight evenly, so all muscles are being utilized in a balanced manner.
We’ll often prescribe certain neck stretches for helping achieve normalized joint function. One of the stretches we recommend, especially for those with forward head posture is cervical retractions. (see below)