Many people suffer from neck pain, as well as shoulder pain. This could be due to a number of causes, such as strains from overexertion, trauma, poor posture, tumors, muscle strain, degenerative diseases, or abnormalities in the bones or joints.
The neck and cervical spine if constructed in a marvelous manner. It protects the spinal cord and provides support for the head, allowing for a high degree of mobility and range of motion. Despite all the marvelous features the neck provides, it is vulnerable to injuries, more so as compared to other parts of the body in some cases. Some of the common causes of neck pain are listed below:
Sleeping in a position that strains the neck – Your pillow could be too high or too stiff, causing neck pain.
Sitting in an awkward position for too long – If you sit in an awkward position for too long, such as while driving, or working at the computer, it can cause the neck to be crooked.
Carrying a heavy object on one side of the body – If you have lifted a heavy object or carried a suitcase or other object on one side of the body, it can lead to neck strain and cause neck pain.
Any form of trauma – If you have been in an accident that caused whiplash injury, or you fell from the stairs and landed on top of your head, your neck can be strained as a result, causing neck pain.
Most of the time, neck pain will simply go away after some time, such as in the case where you lifted a heavy object. Other times, you would need medical assistance, such as in the case of a whiplash injury after a car accident. Minor strains in the neck can be treated with simple home remedies as well. These strains especially of ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the neck can heal in one or two days with simple home remedies.
If you have been experiencing neck pain, try these self-care remedies to alleviate the pain and stiffness. If however, the pain is not improving, then you must get in touch with a professional healthcare provider immediately.
Using ice packs – Applying cold ice packs can help reduce inflammation in the area, and allows it to heal. The ice pack should be applied after 20 – 30 minute intervals.
Applying heat – A hot bath or shower or simply applying heat can improve blood flow to the area and stimulate the healing process. You may even use a heat wrap to apply continuous low level heat.
Massage – A gentle massage of the shoulder and neck can help alleviate neck and shoulder pain. You can ask someone at home to rub your neck and give you a gentle massage. This will stimulate blood flow in the area and help with healing.
Over the counter pills – You can also use over the counter pain medication like ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used for treating pain, fever, and inflammation.
If the pain persists after using these remedies, or if the symptoms last for more than a day or two, visit your health provider or a chiropractor and get treatment.