Do you have neck pain? If you do, you are far from alone. This is a very common ailment. In fact, in America more than 2/3 of adults report that they have experienced at least one incident of neck pain in their lives. It’s so easy to strain the neck. You can do it at work, during exercise, even turning over while sleeping.
It’s so common it’s got its own slang phrase. How often have you referred to someone who is bothering you as a “pain in the neck?” That’s because it’s such a universally understood unpleasant experience!
What do you do about neck pain, then? There are plenty of different treatments you can try. Home remedies may give some relief, as can physical therapy or treatments like chiropractic or acupuncture.
Medicine is helpful for many sufferers. Over the counter medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) help with pain, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) help also to reduce inflammation. On the other hand, if the pain is caused by a displaced cervical disc, then surgery may be needed.
The choice of what therapy is best will depend on a lot of different factors, including pain cause, intensity, and duration.
In the event that pain came on from an accident or injury, the usual treatment recommended by doctors is bed rest, cold treatment (ice pack) for pain relief, and a neck brace or collar. If you have chronic neck pain, rather than acute, then heat therapy and physical therapy is often used.
Physical therapy is a good choice that will involve addressing cause and prevention as well as remedying pain. The therapist will help with massage or stretching, exercise or electrical stimulation of muscles. But, even more importantly, the client is told about risk factors and preventative care.
Don’t assume that alternative therapies are not useful. In fact, a recent European study compared three groups. The group that had Chinese acupuncture ended up with better short- and long-term pain relief than did those who had massage treatment or laser treatment.
No matter which treatment option you decide on, you need to find a trustworthy and certified professional. You need to ensure that you are going to be treated by someone who will do so correctly. Any therapy that is done wrong can cause further damage. Try all kinds of therapies as you decide what is best for your own case, and feel free to combine therapies as well if that works for you.