Staring at the computer screen for hours or sleeping in an awkward posture can result in an annoying strain in your neck.Neck strain or neck pain is currently one of the most common problems in the world. With laptops, tablets, smart phones being used for many hours at a stretch, weakening of neck muscles over a period of time is to be expected. The more immediate effect observed is neck pain.If left untreated, it can cause serious and permanent damage to the cervical spine.
WAYS TO MANAGE NECK PAIN
Here are some effective ways to manage neck pain naturally:
1 . Heat And Ice Packs
This is the easiest cure for a neck pain. The cold reduces inflammation and heat helps in blood circulation. Heat should be applied after cold application. Put some crushed ice cubes in a plastic pack, wrap this pack in a towel and put it around your neck. Keep this for not more than 20 minutes. Now apply heat. You can take a hot shower, a heating pad or a hot water bottle for 20 minutes. Repeat every 2-3 hours. Make sure that ice cubes are never applied directly on your skin.
2 . Neck Exercises
Move your head in circular motion, once in clockwise and then in anti clockwise direction. Do this five times in each direction for 3-4 times a day. You can also move your head back and forth and sideways for five times. If the pain is too much, immediately consult a doctor.
3 . Hydrotherapy
It involves the use of water to alleviate pain. The force, with which the water strikes the affected part, reduces soreness as well as pain. Target the neck area with a jet of hot water for 3-4 minutes in the shower. Now, switch to cold water and target the same area for a minute. You can repeat this for 4-5 times during the bath.
4 . Massage
You can also massage the neck area with lavender oil. Lavender oil is an excellent agent to reduce pain. Rub some lavender oil on your neck and shoulder region and massage in circular pattern. Apply mild pressure and massage the area for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this daily as per your need. Stop, if it pains too much while massaging.
5 . Apple Cider Vinegar
Due to its anti-inflammatory property, one can also use apple cider vinegar to get a relief from neck pain. Soak the towel in the vinegar and warm it in a microwave. Place this warm towel on your neck and leave it for an hour. Repeat this if the pain persists. Make sure that the towel is not burning hot.
WAYS TO PREVENT NECK PAIN
Since neck pain is largely caused by wrong posture and unhealthy lifestyle, it can be prevented by making some changes in your day to day schedule.
Maintain The Right posture
Keep the height of your computer or laptop such that your vision meets the centre of the screen. You can always use books to raise the height of the computer. Make sure you do not lean forward, always sit with a straight spine and eyes at the level of computer. And don’t forget to take a break and move around every 30 minutes.
Always Sleep On Your Back
This position is best suited to relax the spine. You can also sleep on your side, but never on your stomach. Sleeping on the back keeps the spine straight eliminating the chances of any twisting or crick in the neck. If you are unable to sleep on your back then sleep on your side.
Use A Cervical Pillow
Cervical pillow helps to reduce and prevent neck pain as it gives added support to the neck. It also helps to keep the neck aligned with the spine. Invest in a good quality cervical pillow and replace it with your regular one.
Carry Weight Evenly
People tend to carry their bags on one side resulting in uneven load. This leads to pain in the neck and shoulder area. Whenever you have to carry a bag, make sure that the shoulders are at same level or else you can go for a backpack which will distribute the load evenly.
Manage Your Stress
Stress is also one of the main drivers of neck pain as it leads to muscle tension. Stress can be eliminated using relaxation techniques including yoga, meditation, exercise, running and swimming. Start with one and engage for at least half an hour everyday in the morning.
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While the above stated remedies are helpful, you should always consult a doctor if the pain does not improve or tend to worsen over time. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!