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Video Rating: 4 / 5
When common non-surgical treatments (e.g. NSAIDs, chiropractic care, neck exercises) or even surgery haven’t provided effective relief of neck pain, patients often get creative and identify simple yet unique techniques they do on their own.
1. Take a Swim
The therapeutic effects that swimming has on back pain and neck pain, specifically in reducing inflammation, providing quick pain relief and allowing for unrestricted movements. Interesting tips have included:
◦ Getting the water level up to the neck and simply moving around
◦ Squatting until the water reaches the chin, and then moving back and forth and to the right and to the left.
If patients do not own a pool or can’t get to a community pool in the summers or an indoor pool in the winters, taking a bath every night is a popular alternative for other neck pain sufferers.
2. Utilize a Water Pillow
Keeping on this “water” theme, some patients note the rejuvenating effects of water pillows that allow patients to dictate the firmness of their pillow. Specifically, more water equals a firmer pillow; less water provides a softer pillow. Various water pillow products are available on the market and may be worth considering for patients who have tried more traditional neck pillows and braces to no avail.
3. Consider Melatonin Sleeping Aids
Even the greatest pillow may have no chance against neck pain that interferes with sleeping. Various supplements that stimulate the hormone Melatonin (which is highest prior to bedtime) have been used by forum members and allowed them to at least get some much-needed quality restorative sleep. Of course, when considering supplements, it’s important to do your own research and speak with a trusted medical professional about the benefits/risks involved.
4. Focus on Magnesium Intake
As many cases of neck pain are the result of muscle strains or sprains, speaking with a nutritionist about magnesium (an essential mineral that helps contract and relax muscles) may be worth learning more about. Magnesium is found in certain fruits, vegetables, nuts, peas, beans, soy products and whole grains, and is also available in supplemental formats. Some people note how taking magnesium helps with muscle tightness in the neck.
5. Learn More about Acupuncture
Involving the insertion of thin needles into the skin, acupuncture has been described as providing varying degrees of neck pain relief for forum members, with some people swearing by its effectiveness, others noting success about half of the time, and some other patients noting no relief. One forum member raised the interesting point that the efficacy of acupuncture and deep tissue massage often depends on the skills of the practitioner, making it important for patients to research these treatment methods and really understand how to identify a skilled professional.
6. Get a Remedial Massage
Some people champion this type of massage for neck pain relief. But what’s the difference between a regular massage and a remedial massage? During a remedial massage, oil is applied to and massaged into the skin, with the purpose of penetrating the muscles and joints, removing toxins in the muscles, and ultimately relaxing the muscles and improving joint mobility.
7. Relax via Holistic Treatments
Stress can exacerbate neck pain; thus, holistic treatments like aromatherapy (during which essential oils are used for relaxation and mood improvement), meditative music, candlelight, etc. may be incorporated to soothe the patient and clear the mind of neck pain. One chronic neck pain sufferer has experienced so much pain relief from holistic treatments that he now has made such therapy a nightly ritual.
8. Avoid Situations that Trigger Neck Pain
Limiting instances that often spur and exacerbate neck pain (like sitting at a computer for long periods of time, driving, heavy lifting, other activities that require heavy use of the arms) have helped achieve relief. Others have noted modifying such activities, like bringing the steering wheel as low as possible and putting a towel behind their neck when driving, as preventative measures for neck pain.
9. Strategically Place Ice on Certain Areas
Neck pain may also be joined by nagging headaches and numbness and tingling in the back of the head, neck, shoulders and hands. Some forum members suggest putting ice on different areas of the body (between the thumb and index finger, on the bone 1.5-2 inches behind the ear, on the indent between the middle of the eyebrow) to help achieve relief from such symptoms. One creative forum member noted using a headband to secure the ice in these different spots and on the temple. And when his neck pain got really intense, he suggested slowly moving to and lying on the floor with a towel behind the neck.
Video Rating: 5 / 5