Try These Self-Care Techniques To Reduce Your Neck Pain

More than 25 percent of Americans suffer from some degree of neck pain, and many among this group use medication to alleviate their painful symptoms. If you'd rather seek a drug-free solution to your discomfort, visiting a chiropractor for regularly scheduled adjustments can reduce the stiff, sore feeling that's become a part of your life. Between adjustments, it's useful to turn to some self-care techniques that can further reduce your pain and allow you to live your life more fully. Here are three different ideas that can be successful.

Tension And Posture Scan

Take a moment, without shifting out of your current position, to mentally scan your posture and determine the tension you're holding in your body. Some people raise or tighten their shoulders when they're stressed or just out of habit, and the result can often be tighter neck muscles that contribute to pain. When you've gained an awareness of these issues, the next step is to address them. Take a deep breath and allow your shoulders to relax. Gently moving your neck from side to side can promote the relaxation of your stiff muscles in the area, which can contribute to a reduction in your neck pain.

Foam Roller Exercises

Investing in a foam roller can help you reduce muscle pain in several parts of your body, including your neck. A simple exercise is to place the roller on the floor and position your body, face up, so your neck is directly on the roller. Raise your hips to allow your neck to push into the roller, and then re-position your body, as needed, until the roller is pressing against any sore spots on your neck. If the side of your neck is also sore, you can turn your body onto your side and push against the roller. Additionally, it's helpful to move the roller to your shoulders or upper back, as tightness in these areas can also contribute to neck pain.

Ice And Heat

A regimen of ice and heat can often reduce your pain. If you've developed acute neck pain, apply ice for short periods for the first 48 hours to reduce any inflammation in your muscles. After this amount of time, heat packs applied to your neck are effective for relaxing your tight muscles and even helping your circulation. When using ice, avoid keeping it against your skin for longer than 20 minutes, as doing so could harm your skin.

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