Finding Relief from Neck Pain- 3 Simple Solutions
Updated: Apr 1, 2019
As a young girl growing up in the Caribbean, I remember staring in awe at some of the hawkers as they walked with huge trays full of items for sale gracefully balanced atop their heads. Did they ever suffer from neck pain I wonder?
Neck pain can occur suddenly from an injury or develop slowly from poor posture. Stress is a major risk factor in the development of neck pain. While most cases of neck pain are not serious, certain signs that may accompany neck pain can signify a serious problem. There are good home care solutions that can help to ease neck pain. This article contains a few.
Causes For Concern
The solutions offered below are not recommended if you experience any of the following symptoms. A visit to your medical practitioner is highly advised.
Severe neck pain, particularly after trauma
Neck pain accompanied with fever, body aches, sweating, chest discomfort or confusion
Neck pain that restricts neck motion
Neck stiffness accompanied with tingling or numbness in the arms or hands, or loss of strength or sensation in arms and hands
Neck pain with headaches
Neck pain that is triggered by exertion or worsens with exertion
Heat increases local circulation to the neck and releases muscle tension. Try taking a hot shower with the water directly massaging the neck muscles or apply a hot towel or hot pack to the neck for a few minutes, to alleviate discomfort.
Peppermint oil's analgesic, antispasmodic, anti- inflammatory and invigorating properties makes it an excellent essential oil to use for neck pain relief. Apply 1 to 3 drops directly to the neck. If your skin is sensitive dilute the peppermint oil in a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil (3 drops of peppermint oil to 1-3 teaspoons of carrier oil). Applying peppermint oil to the skin, then applying heat afterwards is one of my absolute favourite strategies for quick relief.
Here are some simple exercises you can do to stretch most muscles of the neck.
1. Dolphin Pose at a Desk
Sit with your torso approximately 2 1/2 feet from the edge of your desk ( if you are tall you may need to position your torso further away from the desk). Prop your elbows on the table, elbow distance closer than shoulder distance, fingers interlock. Relax the head down in between the upper arms. As you inhale expand the back of the ribs stretching the muscles of the upper back, on your exhales relax into the stretch. Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.
2. Clasping Neck Stretch
Sit tall, interlock fingers behind the head. Allow the head to release down towards the chest, allow the weight of the arms to gently stretch the back of the neck. On an inhale, lift the chin as high as you can, open the chest, move the elbows apart as far as you comfortably can, on an exhale return to the starting position, chin down elbows down. Moving with the breath, repeat 5 to 8 rounds.
3. Sitting Neck Release Pose
Sit tall, place the left hand under the left buttock, palm touching the chair, take the right ear towards the right shoulder, right hand comes over the left ear. Feel the stretch on the left side of the neck. On your inhales lift the chest, on your exhales allow the neck to relax in the stretch, allow the weight of the right hand to stretch the neck. Stay in this position for 3 to 8 breaths. On your next inhale keep the right hand over the left ear turn the chin up towards the ceiling. You should feel the stretch move towards the front of the neck. Stay for 3 to 8 breaths. On you next exhale release the chin down towards the chest keeping the right hand over the left ear, the stretch should move towards the back of the neck. Stay for 3 to 8 breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.