Pain in the neck is annoying and sometimes unbearable. How to relieve it is always an issue with many people.

Daisy is in her 30th year of age and she cannot take the pain that is coming from her neck. The pain is more on the back than on the front. She cannot trace the exact cause of this pain.

In a bid to clear this pain, she has changed her mattress and even bought a new pillow. She actually has taken some days off from work just to rest.

This has been the worst experience she has had, she feels as though she is a 70 year old. To clear this neck pain, she needed to know the different treatment methods so that she could take up some or all of them.

Here are several ways to relieve neck pain successfully

neck pain relief drugs
Using anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce neck pain

1. Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs

Before you go too far with your treatment you will need to focus on clearing the pain. This is important because you probably are unable to carry out your daily activities. This will make you pain free but the cause of the pain will still be underlying.

This will also clear any swelling that might have occurred. Pain from your neck region may be due to several factors. Some of them can cause a great deal of swelling. These are drugs that are multi-functional.

The pain that comes from your discs will bring you discomfort. As you work out your way to remove the cause of stress on your disc the pain is still evident. It is therefore worthwhile to control the pain levels with some medications.

Any ailment that you leave to progress will develop and be severe and will definitely cost you more in terms of personal comfort. The same case applies to the pain you are experiencing. Chronic pain can occur from a severe acute pain. Therefore when you use appropriate nerve medication it will lower your risk of developing chronic hand pain.

There are different kinds of pain medications for neck pains.  A good example is take two ibuprofen pills every four to six hours, until the inflammation, pain and numbness have gone away. Other types are such as aspirin and naproxen.

Do not borrow these drugs from a friend who once used them but left some. This is a dangerous practice and you will therefore need to buy yours over the counter.

cervical spine support
using a good cold neck wrap to relieve pain is very helpful

2. Ice pack and heat pack

Alternatively instead of anti inflammatory drugs, you would use ice and a heat pack. Icing is a mechanism of applying a cold material such as ice on the spot in your spine where you feel the symptoms.

Put ice in an ice pack and place the pack on the spot so that it is directly compressed against the disc. With the cold pack (ice) you need to continue using the ice till the initial inflammation has disappeared even if not all of it.

When you apply ice on the disc, it will reduce inflammation and swelling. When you apply ice on that part of your leave it for a period of about 15 minutes of so. In case you are experiencing very painful moments, it will be advisable that you repeatedly apply the ice a number of times in a day. A cold pack will reduce the pain you are experiencing for the time being as the healing process continues.

Do not apply ice directly on the spot on your body. This will cause a frostbite injury. Use a material, cloth or towel as above.

Heat is a natural muscle relaxant while cold is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain killer. You will therefore need to heat yourself. Some sources of heat that can do for you are; warm moist towel, hot water bottles and microwave bean bags. Additionally for cold, blue gel and moldable freezer ice pack will be the best sources.

These hot wraps will relax the muscles around and in your neck. This will remove stress on the particular nerve and pain will disappear with time. However this, hot wraps, is a continuous process not a one-time thing.

neck support braces
using a cervical brace to support the neck and prevent pain,

3. Neck collar

That pain that is affecting your neck may just require some rest. This will hold parts of your neck in their required position. In case of fracture or herniation of a disc, a neck collar will allow the disc time and space to heal.

A neck collar is a means to brace your neck, it is actually a soft collar which supports the neck and prevents any movements. It is of great help during the early stages of your injury. Other situations may call for a hard collar.

A neck collar is used to support, align and hold the neck in position. It will limit movement around the nerve and allow it to recover. Additionally, it will help relieve the pressure that is placed on that particular nerve, muscle, ligament or tendons.

When braced your neck will be immobile and the discs will be held in position. It will also act as a way to hold back any deformed disc so that it adapts back to its position. For this reason a neck collar will be used mostly by medics to treat victims who develop the pinched nerve from an accident.

A neck collar will hold the neck such that chances of poor neck postures will not be present. It may however not be possible to have a neck collar at home but you can always improvise. Try bracing your neck with any hard material that will support and most importantly align it.

neck pillows
Using a cervical pillow to relieve neck pain

4. Cervical pillow

This is a pillow that will support your neck and the discs in it and allow a good and normal posture. It will allow you to do away with neck pains while in bed.

This treatment method has no limitations as pertains other treatments being carried on. Therefore whether you have used traction or have taken some pain relievers you will need to support your neck with a pillow. It maintains good posture all though your sleep.

A good pillow support will lower the stress placed on your neck. Continued pressure on the nerve will have severe consequences. It will lead to complete destruction of the particular disc. Take note that using a pillow is a recommendable means to support your neck and it will lower the risk of further nerve irritation and disc degeneration.

The support will reduce the stress caused on your disc, it will help your ailing neck to relax hence with time no pressure will be exerted and your disc will be functioning normally.

However, this treatment is not only applicable when you have a degenerated disc but even during other times. Regularly using it during sleep will always ensure that your spine is well supported and that your head is exerting no extra pressure on your neck during sleep.

neck traction kits
Using an over the door neck traction kit to relieve neck pain

5. Traction

Traction is a way of straightening any broken or dislocated bones or relieving pressure on the spine. Cervical traction for example, will enable you to release that pressure on the discs in your neck and the entire spine to the lower back. The most important part is that before you perform any traction at home great care and caution will need to be exercised.

Traction is a form of spine decompression. The mechanism behind traction is that you will be pulling your neck away from the rest of your body. In this case, the cause of stress which is causing pains will be removed.

A good number of people will tell you that you should leave it for a health expert to perform. However, with caution you can go ahead. Understand the workability of the traction kit that you are using and move on.

It is worth noting that being over ambitious with this technique can cause you more harm than good, so go slow with it.

This is how to do it; you will need to lie down with your head attached to the cervical traction unit ( a home kit) and slowly pump the with a hand held pump in your hand. As you continue doing this device will pull your head away from your body and thus will stretch muscles in your neck. Deep down in your spine it will stretch your vertebrae hence creating more spaces for your intervertebral discs to relieve pressure on any pinched nerve.

Traction will remove the cause of pain but will not solve the damage already incurred. This therefore means that immediately after traction you need other treatments. Remember disc degeneration may even have caused herniation which can cause rapture and spill-over of jellylike fluid in the discs. Traction will force the fluid back to the inside of your disc.

6. Neck exercises

Once pain resolves, gradually return to normal activity. This will only be possible if you perform exercises. In this case these are neck exercises.

These are movements that enhance mobility of your neck and the vertebral discs in it. This will restore to original position any disc in case of bulging of any other problem. They will also hold the cervical disc in the correct position. These exercises include movements such as neck retraction, neck rotation, neck flexion, side bends and head drop.

I. Neck retraction

This is a simple neck exercise. When lying while facing up or when sitting down, bring your head straight back, keeping your eyes on the horizon. After about a minute in that position then revert to the neutral. Try it now! The moment you retract, some pains released. The rules are very clear, that you retract straight and keep your eyes on the horizon.

Neck retraction will move back a disc that had shifted or rather dislocated, was in bad position. It will also help stretch any muscle mostly in the lower back neck that was trapped. Repeat neck retraction ten times and perform this ten times set regularly.

II. Neck rotation.

This is how to go about it; while sitting, bring your head in neck retraction position. Neck retraction as I put it is a very crucial point as most of these exercises will always start there. After retracting, then gently turn your head diagonally (note that there is no bending) to the right side such that your nose will be over your shoulder. Maintain that posture for a minute and return to neutral.

Perform the same for the left side; retract the neck, then gently turn your head diagonally to the left side. Move gently until your nose will be over your left shoulder. After maintaining that posture for a minute than return to neutral. Repeat rotation procedure in an alternative format such that you make ten rotations. Always take caution.

 III. Neck flexion

Neck flexion is also as important as rotation. When performing it, sit down and bring your head in a neck retraction position. At this position, clasp your hands at the back of your head and gently guide your head down. At the end of the exercise, your chin will be toward your chest. As you gently guide your head down, you will feel a stretch at the back of your neck, it is at this point that you stop. Hold in that position for a few seconds and then return to neutral.

Both rotation and flexion will stretch the muscles on your neck back and release any stress that may be exerted on them. Alternatively, they will stretch the vertebral column hence releasing pressure exerted on any disc.

IV. Head drop

This exercise combines effectively with neck retraction exercise. Again with this exercise it can either be while seated or when standing. At either of the positions, retract your neck. Remember you must bear with the pain that may result from these exercises and at the end of the day relieve the pain in totality. I am aware that there is a lot of pain from your back and any attempts to move your neck might cause some additional pain. However, the resultant pain is not severe and sharp as the first pain.

After performing a neck retraction, slowly move your head up and backward as far as you can comfortably go. At this juncture your head will be raised and you will be facing upwards with your head dropped. After a minute or so in that position return to neutral. This will work with the muscles by entrapping them in case they are trapped. It will also ensure ease of neck movements. Remember with utmost flexibility of your neck, neck back pains will be a rare to come across.

neck relief exercises
Using neck exercises for pain relief

V. Side bends

This is an exercise that aims at strengthening your neck and improving flexibility. Side bends however have a certain recommended format. It is also performed with ease to avoid causing additional damage such as trapping a nerve more than it initially was. It is also likely that one can cause complete dislocation of a disc by faster and uncontrolled side bend.

This is how to perform a side bend exercise; either sit down or stand upright. I trust you are now free with how to retract your neck, bring your neck in retraction position. In that position place your right arm above your right. Guide your right ear to your right shoulder. Make the movements until when you feel a stretch on the left side of the neck. After about a minute, then return to neutral.

Start the exercise all over again by bringing your neck in retraction position. Then place your left hand above your left ear. Guide your left ear to your left shoulder. Continue making the movements until such a time when you feel a stretch on your right side of the neck. After a minute return to neutral. Repeat this procedure alternating both sides, your left and right, such that it will be five times on each side. You will feel the stretch whichever side you bend.

If all the above methods do not bring relief, then it will be necessary that you visit your doctor as your situation may require surgery.

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