Neck pain is one of the most common complaints involving pain that people come to the chiropractor to resolve. We wanted to offer some natural solutions to dealing with neck pain to help you strengthen your neck and give you relief between visits.
Are you side or stomach sleeper?
To reduce neck pain, try to sleep on your back. This position gives you the most support. If you aren’t able to change your sleeping position, make sure you have a pillow designed for the type of sleeper you are. Side sleepers can get more overall structure support by sleeping with a pillow between their knees and stomach sleepers can support their low back by putting a pillow under their hips.
Are you sitting in front of a computer all day?
Keeping your computer screen at eye level will help reduce neck pain by encouraging better posture. Take time to stand and perform stretches and exercises through the day. If you aren’t on a computer, but other devices, take time to hold them at eye level, or take a break from them and stretch. Looking down at your phone or tablet (including a Kindle®), can put strain on your neck, so find a way to prop it up whenever possible.
Additionally, if you are on the phone a significant amount of time, don’t cradle the phone against your ear, instead use a headset to eliminate neck pain.
Are you carrying weight evenly?
If you notice you carry a briefcase, backpack or purse on a shoulder or one side of the body, change sides. Remove unneeded weight whenever possible so you don’t create neck pain by having a heavy bag pulling your shoulder down. If appropriate, use a rolling cart or bag that distributes the weight evenly.
Are you getting enough water and minerals?
Adding magnesium to your diet can help support muscle contraction and helps them to relax. Staying hydrated and supplementing magnesium and/or eating foods high in the mineral, such as dark leafy greens, whole grains, bananas, fish and beans can help reduce neck pain from muscle strain.
Are you stretching as part of your exercise routine?
There are specific neck pain exercises and stretches you can do to help break up tension held there. Some of our neck strengthening and stretching favorites include:
The “Turtle”: Sitting straight up. Imagine pushing your jaw back, like a turtle pushing its head back into the shell. Do 5-10 repetitions, holding each for at least 5 seconds.
Shoulder Circles: Stand and raise your shoulders straight up towards your ears then circle them forward for 5-10 rotations, then switch directions and repeat the circles backwards.
Head Rotations: Turn your head as far as you can to the left and hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat this to the right. Gently drop your chin to your chest and hold it 10-30 seconds. Carefully tilt your head back and look up. To intensify this stretch, jut your jaw bone forward and hold.
Neck stretch with resistance: Let your right ear drop towards your right shoulder and hold for 10-30 seconds, then switch sides. To intensify this stretch, use the same arm to push down gently on your head.
Regular chiropractic care can help alleviate neck pain as a drug free and long lasting solution. If you have questions about neck pain, how we treat the different causes of neck pain and how we structure a unique treatment plan for you, please call us today.