Cervical neck pain treatment at home involves use of simple to follow remedies. Options for treating cervical neck pain and neck stiffness depend on the cause. Serious cases require aggressive medical treatment. Otherwise, most cases can be treated at home to get relief from the neck pain.
Physiotherapy for neck pain is an important part of neck pain therapy. Advice from a physiotherapist is required on the type of neck exercises and the neck massage technique, especially in case of neck pain due to a strained neck muscle. This is the most common cause of neck pain.
In such cases, using a cervical pillow to relax the neck muscles during sleep is advised. Adopting sleeping positions that give maximum comfort will also help relax the neck muscles and give relief.
Simple home remedies that give neck pain relief
No physical activity
Stop your daily physical activity. All exercises and games must be stopped for the first two to three days or until there is some relief from pain. You must avoid driving and cycling. This helps to reduce inflammation and soothe the strained muscle. After two or three days, you can begin your gentle physical activities.
Hot and cold compresses
This is the first step of neck pain treatment, which help to relax the inflamed and strained neck muscles and reduce neck stiffness. Apply ice to the painful part three to four times a day for the first three days. Thereafter apply heat. Care should be taken in both cases to see that you do not burn your skin.
Neck pain due to arthritis or muscle spasm does cause inflammation at the site of the pathology. You could take over the counter anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and get relief from the neck pain. This is not the cure, but it will give relief from the neck pain symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe stronger medicines for severe cases of neck pain due to severe muscle spasm.
You can also apply cream on the site of the pain to get relief
Have someone gently massage the neck. Knowing the right way to massage the neck is important. It has to start in a gentle way in order to loosen up the tense muscles and ease the neck stiffness. Starting with intense massaging will tense the muscles further. A longer massage gives better relief than a short one. Neck massage can be repeated thrice a week. Do consult a physiotherapist to know the right technique to massage the neck.
Neck exercises for neck pain and stiffness
Neck exercises and stretches help in the mobilization of the neck muscles, which have been rested. Do the neck exercises slowly and without any sudden movements. Gently move your neck side to side and up and down, each about ten times, several times a day. This will help to stretch the neck muscles.
This forms part of the physiotherapy treatment. Advice from the physiotherapist will help you to perform the right exercises in the right manner.
Your doctor may prescribe a cervical collar to support your neck and keep it in the neutral position. This will relax the tensed up neck muscles. Wear the collar only for two or three days. Using the collar for a long time will weaken the neck muscles.
Your doctor may advise cervical traction. This is the application of weights to stretch the neck. It is done to increase the reduced space between two cervical vertebrae, which happens in cervical spondylosis. In cases of pinched nerve, this treatment becomes useful.
Cervical pillow and sleeping positions
Another important step in the neck pain treatment is to allow your neck to be comfortable while sleeping. Try to sleep on a firm mattress. If your neck feels more comfortable without a pillow, there is no need to use it. If you feel you need a pillow, use one that changes its shape as you move your head.
Choose a sleeping position that suits and makes you most comfortable. Sleeping positions will vary with different people depending on the site of neck pain. Special neck pain relieving cervical pillows are available, which provide support on the sides and a shallow cavity in the center to rest your head. This will be the best pillow to use. The shape of the pillow allows for maximum relief to the neck while sleeping.
If the pain is not relieved within one week, visit your orthopedic doctor who will do the necessary tests to diagnose the cause of neck pain.
Proper posture at all times
When working at the desk or on a computer, while reading or writing, your posture should be such that the neck must in line with the rest of the spine. Your neck and back should be straight.
Keep prescription up to date if you wear glasses
Proper glasses will enable you to read properly. Inability to read makes you bend forward towards the monitor screen and stoop, which strains the neck muscles.