The urge to pop a pill when your neck pain flares up is tempting, but don't go running to your medicine cabinet just yet. If you are interested in supplemental or alternative relief, explore some of these natural, medication-free options.
Exercise: How Movement Can Decrease Your Pain
Sounds a bit counter-productive, right? The last thing many people want to do is move and exercise when they are in pain. However, exercise can provide both short-term and long-term relief from chronic neck pain. If you are physically able to do exercises, take advantage of the ideas below.
Stretching Solutions – Tight neck muscles are a prime source for chronic neck pain. When you consistently stretch and exercise these muscles, they can become stronger and less tense. Try out the simple levator scapula stretch for pain relief.
Using A Foam Roller – A foam roller is a simple, affordable tool that you can use to massage your neck. They are rolled over tense or painful areas of the body to apply pressure and mimic the effects of a deep tissue massage.
Yoga Poses For Posture – In some cases, neck pain may be linked to poor posture or stress. Because of this, yoga is commonly used for treating chronic pain. Simple yoga poses can promote better posture and reduce stress levels, and this may alleviate your pain. Some poses used for neck pain are cow pose, cat pose, child's pose, and seated twist pose.
Topical Treatments: Short-Term But Rapid Relief
Natural topical treatments have one thing in common with pain medications; they provide immediate or rapid relief from your neck pain. While this relief is short-term in nature, it certainly helps when you are feeling your worst. Try these topical options out when those aches are coming on.
Heat Therapy - Heat therapy is recommended for chronic injuries instead of cold therapy. This is because heat relaxes muscles and promotes blood flow to the painful area. You have plenty of options for heat therapy: take a hot bath, enjoy a warm shower, apply a hot water bottle , and similar ideas.
Aromatherapy And Essential Oils – Some people who suffer from chronic neck pain find relief through aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to promote physical and mental wellness. Peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil are applied topically to potentially reduce pain and tension. Lavender oil is known for producing a sense of calm and relaxation. Make sure to use any essential oils as directed, and use a carrier oil if needed.
Acupuncture: Seeking Help From A Practitioner
Acupuncture is a popular form of Chinese medicine, and it has been used for centuries to relieve pain. This procedure involves the use of extremely thin needles, and they are strategically placed to eliminate pain. Acupuncture is performed by an acupuncturist; this is a practitioner who has studied this form of alternative medicine. Some positive benefits are listed below:
There is no risk of the numerous side effects associated with prescription painkillers and over-the-counter painkillers.
There are minimal or no side effects overall.
This practice may increase endorphin levels, which reduce pain and boost mood.
Acupuncture treatments can be performed on a regular basis for consistent pain relief.
Overall, consider trying out a combination of the methods listed above. For example, use heat therapy at home and also seek acupuncture therapy from an experienced acupuncturist. Your options are far from limited when it comes to relieving chronic neck pain.