Facebook Pixel

3 At Home Treatments for Neck Pain – and a Bonus Tip!

People often associate spine doctors with back pain but many patients come to us with neck pain. With people spending more time with their neck bent down (looking at a cell phone or down at a laptop screen) more people are finding neck pain to be a problem. If you’re experiencing neck pain and don’t know what to do, make an appointment with one of our spine specialists. You may find that many of your treatment options can be done at home. Here are a few examples of at home treatments for neck pain.

1. Stretching for Neck Pain Relief

Stretching can be an easy way to have a big impact on neck pain, especially neck pain related to posture. An easy one is to lay flat on the ground with your head on the ground (or on a pillow if it’s too uncomfortable) and rest. Stay in this position for about 15 minutes if you can. Another good exercise is neck retraction, standing or sitting. Pull your chin toward your back as far as you can until you feel the stretch in your neck. In addition, you can perform this stretch then slowly turn your head as far to the left or right as you can go. Hold in each position for a few seconds before releasing. Each of these simple stretches can help your tissues and joints to feel better. Take a few minutes to repeat these throughout the day and you might find some improvement. Get more details on stretches for neck pain.neck pain treatments you can do from home

2. Hot / Cold Therapy

Heating pads and ice packs can both be used to treat neck pain at home, separately or in combination with one another. Some people find heating pads reduce pain. Heat increases blood flow to an area, can reduce inflammation, joint stiffness, and muscle spasms. Cold therapy, usually in the form of an ice pack, also may provide some relief. By bringing the temperature down in the area affected, blood flow, nerve sensitivity, and inflammation are all reduced. Some have found pain relief from alternating between hot and cold therapy. Which one should you use? As usual, it depends on your particular circumstance and which you feel provides the most relief. Read more: Should I Use Heat or Ice for a Stiff Neck

3. Over the Counter Medications

There are also many over the counter medications that can help relieve your symptoms from pain in the cervical area. An anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofin or naproxen can help reduce inflammation that may be increasing pressure on nerves.  (Read more about anti-inflammatory medications.)

Bonus! Maintain Good Posture

This may be more of a preventative action than a treatment, but maintaining good posture can have a huge impact on improving neck pain. This is especially true if your neck pain is caused by something referred to as tech neck. Staring down at your phone for long periods of time, or sitting at a computer desk which isn’t ergonomically correct, can lead to this condition which can result in severe neck, shoulder, and pain down the arms. (Read more about tech neck.) So, remember to sit up straight, with your lower back supported, shoulders back, and adjust your screen so it is level with your eyes and you can look straight ahead.

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery