3 Tips To Help Decrease Your Neck Pain

Your chiropractor can help to restore and improve the use of your joints and muscles and eliminate joint and muscle inflammation and pain. When you experience neck pain, it is always a good idea to go see a professionally trained and certified chiropractor for treatment. But if you can't get an appointment right away to visit your chiropractor, here are three tips to help decrease your neck pain.

Get the Right Pillow

Because you spend one-third of your life sleeping, it is a good idea to make sure the pillow you use gives your neck the right support. Especially as one of the most common causes of neck pain is from your neck being bent or twisted in one direction for too long, such as when you are sleeping. 

The key is to find a pillow that keeps your head and neck in a neutral position. This means your neck and head should be aligned straight with your spine, not bending too far forward or backward. While you sleep on your back, your pillow should keep your head in alignment. A too-thick pillow can push your neck forward and a pillow that is too thin will allow your neck to bend backward. When you sleep on your side, your pillow needs to fill the space between your mattress and your ear, without bending your neck one way or the other.

As you are shopping for a pillow, you might want to try each pillow's size and firmness out before you buy one. Test each pillow out on a recliner, couch, or display bed in the store to make sure it keeps your neck, head, and spine in the proper neutral position. 

Massage Your Neck

If you are ever experiencing a painful neck cramp that needs relieving immediately, you can use this massage technique. This technique can help relieve the pain until you can see your chiropractor. You can also use this massage technique on a shoulder cramp as well. 

If the pain is on the right side of your neck or shoulder, use your right hand to massage it. If it is on the left side of your neck or shoulder, use your left hand to massage.

First, push into the cramp with your fingers and hold it firmly. This will make the cramped muscle hurt a bit, but it should be a tolerable pain. Stop pressing immediately if you feel a sharp pain, and wait to see your chiropractor for treatment. Press into the knot with a tennis ball if your fingers cannot reach it. 

As you are pressing into the knot, stretch the neck or shoulder muscle by diagonally turning your head away from the knot. Continue this movement until you begin to feel the pain in your neck or shoulder lessen as your muscle relaxes.

Use Ice Therapy

Using ice on your neck helps to reduce swelling, decreases the pain signal, and increases circulation of that area. Ice the cramp in your neck with a soft, moldable ice pack. Make sure you cover the ice pack with a layer of fabric to protect your skin from ice burn. For the first five minutes, the area you are icing will feel uncomfortable and as if it is burning, which is normal. After five minutes, the area will become numb as the pain decreases. 

Only ice your neck for twenty minutes. Icing your neck for longer than 25 minutes can do damage to your skin and muscle tissues. After you have iced the area, wait two hours before icing your neck again. You can continue to use ice for several weeks to help treat your neck pain.

After you have finished icing your neck, blood flow to the area increases to help get rid of toxins and damaged cells while your body repairs itself. 

These three tips can help treat your neck pain between your chiropractor visits at a clinic like Vanderloo Chiropractic.