A Pain In The Neck: How To Treat Neck Pain
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Neck pain can occur due to a variety of reasons. It could be strain from staring down at a computer or an injury as the result in whiplash. In both cases, it can be aggravating, and in serious cases debilitating. Here are a few of the steps worth taking to help treat neck pain.
See a doctor
You don’t need to see a doctor if it’s a simple strain, but if it’s pain as a result of an injury, your first step should always be to get checked out. The pain could be muscular or spinal pain in some cases, which may need specialised treatment. Doctors may also be able to recommend activities worth avoiding such as driving or sports, as well as medication and stretches.
Know your legal rights
Neck pain can often be caused by whiplash. This may be the fault of someone else, which could mean that you’re entitled to compensation. Its worth seeking out legal advice to if you’ve got a case. Compensation could help pay for your recovery or help fund you if you’ve been signed off work (i.e. you may not be able to perform a driving job with a neck injury).
Consider alternative medicine
Certain forms of alternative therapy such as chiropractic and acupuncture work for some people with neck pain. Even a regular massage could help to ease chronic neck pain. Look into different forms of therapy and see what works for you.
Use hot and cold methods
The heat and the cool can both be effective methods against neck pain. When it’s an injury, you may want to use cold methods within 48 hours of the incident to reduce swelling. This could involve applying an ice pack to the affected area or a bag of frozen vegetables. For chronic pain or for injuries after two days, hot methods are generally better at combating inflammation by helping the muscles to relax. This could include applying a heated towel on the injury or taking a long hot bath.
Stretch it out
Various stretches can help to ease pain. These are best recommended by a doctor or physical therapist. Physical activities such as yoga and Pilates are great for helping neck pain too – your instructor should be able to recommend stretches based on your pain. Try to avoid any stretches that are instructed against as these might make your injury or pain worse.
Buy a firm pillow
A regular pillow could aggravate neck pain. It could be worth buying an orthopaedic pillow that makes lying down more comfortable. When travelling you may also want to buy a travel pillow to help support your neck. In the case of an injury, a physical therapist may be able to make recommendations.
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