Neck pain is a common problem that just about everyone will have to deal with at some point in life. It’s usually not a serious problem, but it can feel like one. Minor neck pain may just feel like a dull ache that goes away in a few hours, but severe neck pain can make you feel like you can’t do anything except lie in bed waiting for it to stop.
Pain in the neck will usually go away on its own as long as you don’t do much to aggravate it while it heals, but there are some things you can do to help the healing process along. Here are four things to keep in mind when dealing with neck
Upgrade to a Bamboo Pillow
Just about everybody has woken up in the morning only to find that they cannot turn their head without feeling excruciating pain. This can come as a bit of a shock, but what some people don’t know is that it is frighteningly easy to pinch a nerve while you sleep. This often feels worse than it actually is, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be avoided.
First of all, take stock of the pillows you’re using. If they are too stiff or set too high, you may be sleeping with your neck muscles flexed. Try to sleep with your head and neck in line with the rest of your body, and invest in a new bamboo pillow made from memory foam. Bamboo pillows will conform to the contours of your neck and head to provide better support.
Bamboo-Comfort has a list of the best bamboo pillows for neck pain here.
Make Sure You Get Plenty of Sleep
While we’re on the subject of sleep, it’s worth noting that a lot of musculoskeletal pain may be tied to not getting enough sleep. Studies have shown that adults who have trouble falling or staying asleep have a higher chance of developing musculoskeletal problems, including neck pain. It’s quite possible that the pain in your neck may be tied to poor sleeping habits, so do your best to get more sleep.
If you must take a sleeping aid, stick to something that naturally increases the amount of melatonin in your body. These are the safest and most natural sleep aids on the market, and they can usually be bought as supplements without a prescription.
Stay in Shape
Neck pain can strike anybody at any time, even those who get plenty of exercises. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work out to avoid a neck injury. If you’ve had problems with neck pain in the past, try to stay active.
Swimming is great for alleviating neck pain, as are crunches and anything else that strengthens your core muscles. Weak abdominal muscles can force the spine to bend forward and put extra pressure on your neck. Naturally, easy neck exercises can help relieve pain as well. If you slowly move your head from the left to the right, you can increase your range of motion and help alleviate neck pain.
Know When to See a Doctor
Most of the time, neck pain isn’t a severe problem and will pass in a couple of days. If it doesn’t, it’s time to see a doctor. Severe neck pain can be a symptom of serious neurological disorders and diseases such as cancer, meningitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Early detection is often the key to treating these and other conditions, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor.