Remedies for Neck Pain

You just woke up with a kink in your neck and feel like a stiff board full of pain.
It really hurts and now you are wondering what to do next. What are some good remedies for neck pain that you don’t yet know about? In the next few chapters we will cover these simple steps towards neck pain relief:

1. Warm up your sore Neck
2. Find the Source of your Neck Pain
3. Pressure Point Remedies for Neck Pain
4. Neck Pain Relief with Gentle Massage
5. Neck Stretches
6. Reduce Inflammation
7. Drink Lots of Water

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Waking up with a stiff neck is an all-too-common situation that plays out for a lot of people. The simple Act of turning your head can be very painful and can really interfere with you getting on with your day. What happened is you may have twisted your neck or caught a chill during the night or simply slept on your pillow the wrong way. There could be a number of factors attributing to create this aggravating condition but one of the most common is stress and tension. The best way to avoid popping a bunch of pills this morning is to follow these simple seven step remedies for neck pain and be done with it.

1. Warm up your Sore Neck

First step in neck pain relief when you have tight knotted muscles is to warm up your neck slightly to a comfortable level before doing any stretching or massaging. You don’t want to over heat your neck so only do this for 10 to 15 minutes. there are three different ways of doing this:

1. Microwave a Wet Towel for 2 Minutes

This can be dangerous undertaking if you either miss soaking the towel in water first before putting it in the microwave (a dry towel will start on fire!!), or you don’t use tongs to pick up the hot towel out of the microwave when it is done (a steaming hot towel will burn your hands!!).

With warning out of the way you can start by drenching your towel in water completely then wringing it out with two hands. Place the wet towel on a plate and place in your microwave for 2 minutes. Grab some tongs and when ready take the hot steaming towel out with your tongs. Test it out carefully and when touchable roll your hot towel into a roll. Now it is ready to use on your neck!

2. Fill a Hot Water Bottle

This is pretty self explanatory. Just never use boiling water for this. The proper way is to run your hot water tap and slowly fill the water bottle only to about 70% full.  Squeeze out the excess air and screw the topper back on.

3. Turn on your Favorite Electrical Heating PadRemedies for Neck Pain Sunbeam

If you have an electrical heating pad like the one pictured here from Sunbeam you can just grab it, plug it in, sit or lie down without the hassle of prepping, waiting, or reheating your towel or water bottle when it cools down. This will give you a bit more control and a little less stress.

The whole idea is to encourage blood flow and get your muscles more relaxed and pliable before any stretching or massaging. Your heat Source should not be too hot and you should try to leave it on for only 5 to 10 minutes. To maximize the warming process lie down on a flat surface like a bed or couch and place the rolled-up warm towel or water bottle under your neck as demonstrated below. If you are using the heating pad you may want to support your neck with a pillow. Lying flat in this position encourages more blood flow to the neck as opposed to sitting. Once your muscles are warmed up you can more effectively work on the sore area.


2. Find the Source of your Neck Pain

The causes of neck pain usually stem from a knot in one of the cervical muscles and this usually can be felt when touching your neck. Assess the area by pressing on…

 your neck to find the knot that feels like a hard ball and is tender to touch. If you are gently massaging with light pressing on the area you’ll be able to find the muscle most affected by pain. Your goal here is to find where the discomfort is, how it’s affecting the movement of your neck, and just how bad it is. You can also stand in front of a mirror to check the symmetry of your muscles and the alignment of your neck and shoulders. This will help you find any muscle groups that are cramped or contracted. Check your posture to see if the natural curve of your spine or the level of your shoulders are out of wack. If they are then some muscle are tighter on one side compared to the other.

3. Pressure Point Remedies for Neck Pain

The third step is really targeting that knot you found in your neck and releasing it with pressure point therapy. Massage therapist typically…

use pressure point massage in order to relieve knots in your muscles. The process of pressure point massage is simply putting targeted steady pressure on the knotted muscle. The best way to apply the pressure on you own, if you don’t have someone to do this for you, is to use a tennis ball, golf ball, or any other small ball you have lying around the house. A Small ball like this you can lie yourself down on and slowly roll it around the area of the knot. Focusing on all your knots and using the weight of your body, your movements, the surface you are lying on and the ball to control the amount of steady pressure. You want a gentle study pressure without causing too much pain. Try your best to maintain the pressure for 30 seconds to a minute. You want to feel some pain but you don’t want to the pain to be intolerable either. If you are grimacing then it is time to let off some of the pressure and just make it a comfortable pressure with light pain. Keep rolling around on the ball to find a spot that works best for your comfort level.

4. Neck Pain Relief with Gentle Massage

Step 4 is gently massaging out the area. You can get your partner to help you out or you can do this yourself. It is best to have help with this because then you can really focus on relaxing while someone else is stretching and massaging your muscles. If you don’t have someone to help you, here is what you’re going to do…

This step is going to increase blood flow and lengthen your muscles in your neck. Since we have just worked hard with a tennis ball to break up the knot, it is time to release any painful contractions by slowly doing long strokes of gentle massage to elongate the muscles and gentle squeezing with your fingertips. Always stroke in the same direction each time. You are now increasing the blood flow to promote healing not to increase your discomfort so do your strokes Softly.

5. Neck Stretches

Start doing some simple neck stretches and if you have a cervical traction device at home you can follow with deep stretching of the cervical spine and all it’s adjacent muscles. Make yourself comfortable in a seated

position with a straight posture by placing a small pillow or a rolled-up towel behind your lumbar spine. Start by Looking Down and dropping your chin to your chest and just letting your neck muscles relax for a few seconds. You can then begin to roll your head side to side slowly and feeling the stretch on either side of your neck. Then you lift your head up straight again and turn your head slowly to look to your left then to your right. Try to stretch as far as you can go for and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Again if you have the Saunders Cervical Traction unit, do a few full neck stretched on your machine to give that added deep muscle and vertebral stretch. This should be all that you need when you have neck pain, you don’t want to overdo it and make things feel worse.

6. Reduce Inflammation

Step 6 is to cool down. This is going to reduce any inflammation. Even if you don’t feel like you have inflammation right now it could develop later throughout the day especially after having just massaged and stretched out your neck muscles. You can do this a couple different ways:

1. Towel Ice Bath

Take your rolled-up towel and place it in an ice bath to get it nice and cool. Wring it out, and like you did before with the heating towel, lie down on the ground and slip the roll behind your neck. Reese Oak the towel when you need to if it starts to warm up.

2. Styrofoam Cup Ice Cube

Another great way to cool down muscle instead of using the towel is to fill a Styrofoam cup with water and place it in the freezer to create a big ice cube that you can easily hold and target a specific area. This is something you would have had to thought of preparing a few hours ahead of time where as the towel ice bath can be thrown together with common ice cubes and water. When the styrofoam cup is frozen you can take it out and start to unravel a portion of the top of the cup leaving some styrofoam so you can hold onto the cup without freezing your hands. Now you can massage your neck with the ice that is sticking out from the cup. Keep in mind you will need to be more careful not to cause frostbite so take breaks and don’t spend too much time cooling your neck only do it for about 10 to 15 minutes.

7. Drink Lots of Water

Water can’t be missed. All the muscle manipulation and stretching has been releasing toxins from your muscles. These toxins need to be flushed out and if you don’t drink lots of water to do so aches and pains will develop later. So drink a couple glasses of water right after you have done your massages and then again throughout the day drink plenty more water.

Take a deep breath and assess how you feel. If your discomfort has melted away, or even somewhat away then you are on the right path and you should be feeling better the next day. Sometimes you will feel worse after, that is just your body telling you it can’t take anymore movement or manipulation. The best this is to rest and if necessary, take a pain killer to get on with your day. If you take time to stretch your neck every other day you will decrease your chances of this neck pain returning. You can also get yourself a cervical traction neck stretcher to use once or twice a week to give you a nice deep stretch of your cervical spine. I hope you take from this a new set of remedies for neck pain and have this to share with your friends, as they will no doubt appreciated you for it.