Time to get rid of that old pillow! You woke up for the third time this month with a stiff neck. You think, “There must be some way to help prevent or ease my neck pain!” The physicians participating in the Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center offer treatment options for a multitude of neck and back conditions including injuries that cause a stiff neck. The next time you get a kink in your neck try these six different neck pain treatment options.
Drink lots of water
Strong hydration habits can prevent neck pain. To take pressure off of the spine, the discs between the vertebrae need lots of water. Create a daily habit of drinking eight 8oz glasses of water to ease the amount of pressure on your joints.
Partnering up with the right physical therapist will pinpoint the exact location where the pain is coming from. Neck exercises and proper stretching techniques can strengthen weak areas of the neck and help prevent pain.
Your physical therapist will recommend a few tips to try at home. It may be as simple as correcting your posture. Try other at home treatments like using an ice pack or try sleeping with a different pillow.
Increasing magnesium intake is another drug-free way to help ease your pain. Magnesium affects the conduction of nerve impulses which helps relieve stress and loosens up the muscles. Dark leafy green vegetables, avocados, pumpkin seeds and even chocolate are great sources of magnesium.
Acupuncture and massage
Acupuncture and massage therapy are additional ways people have found neck pain relief. While acupuncture works for some, others may feel no difference, it all depends on both the patient and the therapist. Massage therapy is another great way to relieve neck pain. Massaging a topical cream on the neck can soothe aches and pains. Over the counter creams like Bengay or magnesium oil work great.
Over the counter medication is best for minor, acute neck pain or neck pain that lasts for 7-10 days. Talk to your pharmacist about muscle relaxants or drugs that have acetaminophen. For chronic neck pain, or pain lasting longer than a week, your doctor might prescribe prescription medication. Narcotic pain relievers, corticosteroid injections, and even anti-depressants may reduce chronic pain quicker than the over the counter medication.
If all else fails, surgery may be an option. Your doctor may recommend surgery if your neck is causing severe pain. Many patients who have a herniated disc or a pinched nerve, can see significant relief from some surgical procedures.
To find out more about treatments for neck pain, contact the friendly staff at the Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center to schedule an appointment with a participating physician.
Disclaimer: Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of THSOC. Individual results vary so visit with your physician.