12 Home Remedies for Neck Pain

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Neck pain treatment at home.

12 Home Remedies for Neck Pain

-Dr. Yatish Agarwal 

The human neck is an extraordinary engineering marvel. Besides supporting the all-useful head, its easy flexibility permits a vast range of movements. This moment you may be gazing at the stars, the next peering at the velvet green that covers your lawn. You can also take a lateral movement that allows you a 180-degree motion, letting you look over either shoulder.


Neck Pain: Ease the Strain
However, this versatility has its price. Injuries, postural wrongs, mental ills, stresses and strains, aging and a host of infections and inflammations can cause severe pain in the neck during its movements, making life a terrible mess.

That is the time you think of changing your ways and joining the healthy neck club!


Do not be an ostrich :

Unless you wish to call the breakdown van, be easy on your neck. Do not place the neck in a gawky, ostrich-like stretched out position or keep it tilted at an unnatural angle to one side for long periods of time. This hurts the neck and causes lasting damage. Yet most of us do so all the time. We often use the neck as a holding arm. The neck becomes a cradle for holding the telephone receiver while the hands are employed in a totally different mission. That certainly is not clever—it puts the neck under considerable strain. Similarly, while you are working at the desk unless you use a proper upwardly slanting writing table, your neck gets stretched forward, with your ears in front of your shoulders. A bowed down neck invites a definite neck strain. You would do much better by following the munims of yester-years, who were cleverer than you think, writing bahi khatas (accounts) with their necks upright.


Take a break :

Certain occupations can also strain the neck. My surgeon friends have little choice—they work in a bent-over position all day long. Beauticians, hairstylists and typists work through similar, difficult routine. The solution for them lies in resting the neck from time to time and not overstraining. Care of the neck starts with this.


Rest is a wonderful balm :

If you sense discomfort in the neck, know that trouble is round the corner, shoo it away by resting your neck. Housing the neck in a soft cervical collar immobilizes it and gives the neck total rest. It is the best remedy for an acute condition. You should consult an orthopedic doctor or a rehabilitation expert for further help.

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Take the easy option :

When you suffer an acute neck pain, either you can be stubborn and refuse all medical help, or take your doctor’s help and swallow the time-tested analgesic anti-inflammatory pills. It is sensible to accept the second option and not let the problem worsen as it can be handled at an earlier stage.

All analgesics with anti-inflammatory properties are good enough. You can take a choice. The ibuprofen- paracetamol combination works pretty well for me, but nimesulide (Nimulid) and diclofenac sodium (Voveran) are equally good options. Asthmatic and ulcer patients should be very careful about using these medications, because these pills can suddenly worsen their illness.

Wrap a hot towel around your neck :

Moist heat is a wonderful soother. It can penetrate deep into the tissues and relax overworked neck muscles and ligaments. So dip a towel in hot water and wrap it around your neck. The heat will penetrate deep into your tired neck muscles and ligaments and offer them relief.


Step into a hot shower :

A hot shower is an equally good alternative. Just give it a try.


Invest in a cervical pillow :

There is no need to throw your pillow away. Just buy a new one. A cervical pillow is customized to offer relief to your neck.


Relaxation is a ten-lettered magic word :

Staying tense all day long, seven days a week, puts a lot of strain on the neck. The muscles in the neck become stiff and tire out. It bodes ill for you. Adrenaline is nobody’s buddy, except in an emergency. So relax. Your neck will feel a lot easier.


Cover the neck :

During winter months, keep the neck warm. Cover it adequately. Wear a muffler or turn up the collar to keep the cold wind out. Cold wind worsens stiffness and pain in the neck.


Seek a therapist’s help :

To maintain the neck in the pink of health, turn to a physiotherapist. She or he can tell you about the do’s and don’ts of proper working posture, teach you the active exercises that can strengthen your neck muscles and ligaments and correct the periarthritis in the shoulders to put you on your way to total recovery.

During the sub-acute stage, the doctor will assist the treatment by doing therapeutic ultrasound, carrying out pressure massage on neck muscles, conducting electrotherapy, and in more stubborn cases, traction.

Stick to your exercise schedule :

Devote a few minutes daily for doing neck exercises. This will help strengthen the neck muscles and preserve the function of neck joints. Take the first lessons with a physiotherapist, and then continue at home. For your ready reference, here is what you need to do:


Take a normal upright position :

Either stand or sit upright. Position one hand on top of the other and place them over your forehead. Now push your head forward against the heel of your hand and simultaneously block this movement by applying an equal, backward force through the heel of the hand. Hold to a count of ten. Relax. Repeat five to ten times. Next, place your hands behind your head and clasp them across. Now, push your head backwards, but resist equally with your hands, not allowing any change in position. If you do it right, you can feel the muscles tighten. Hold it this way to a count of ten. Relax. And then repeat five to ten times.

Repeat the same sequence of movements sideward. First, after placing the heel of your left hand on the left side of your head and then, by placing the right hand on the right side of your head.
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