20% of the US population suffer from neck pain. That’s 1 out of 10 Americans suffering from neck minor and major neck strain. While the causes usually vary, most physiotherapists believe that our lifestyle is to be blamed. As technology becomes more compact, we live our lives looking down on screens. Whether we’re on our phone or laptop constantly, our daily habits take a toll on our necks causing our muscles to weaken or spasm.
Muscle strain can be tough to deal with on a day to day basis. However, there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain. Solutions often span from neck heat wrap to pain relievers. However, it’s best to seek professional help before trying them out.
Applying moist heat to your neck & shoulders makes a huge difference
The application of heat helps tense muscles relax. Heat therapy branches out into two categories: dry heat and moist heat. Saunas and electric heating pads are some of the few examples of dry heat therapy. The method takes moisture from the body. On the other hand, moist heat comes in the form of hot baths, steamed towels, heating packs, and neck wraps.
While both are effective in relaxing strained muscles, physiotherapists suggest that moist heat is more effective. Moist heat can deeply penetrate into the muscles making it more suitable for pain relief. The neck and shoulder heat wrap are convenient ways to relax your muscles at home. You can find a neck wrap microwavable so you could ease your tense neck and shoulders while you do daily errands!
Use topical creams to relax tense muscles
Another way to ease your strained muscle is to apply topical muscle creams such as Penetrex directly on your neck and shoulders. Unlike the heated neck wrap, this is an anti-inflammatory treatment in cream form that helps minor muscle strain to major ailments like fibromyalgia.
Penetrex has a cult following of happy customers that backs their claims. Penetrex pain relief is a better alternative to aspirin or any other pain killers. It’s made from natural herbs that’s topical so it’s a good natural alternative to medicinal treatments.
Do daily stretching exercise
Daily stretching exercises for neck and shoulder pain helps you relieve pain by improving your posture. The exercises may not provide instant relief but they help you strengthen your muscles. This prevents muscle spasms caused by weak muscles. For neck and shoulder pain, do the following exercises below daily:
- Roll your shoulder backwards 10 times.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together 10 times
- Slowly push your head backwards while holding the back of your head. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
- Gently bring your ear to your shoulder. Do this 10 times for each side.
Sleep in supine position
Sleeping in certain positions actually induces neck strain. Sleeping on your stomach leaves your neck in one direction for more than 7 hours. Imagine the strain on your neck in this entire duration! Meanwhile, sleeping on your sides could also lead to shoulder strain.
Physiotherapists suggest that you sleep on your back with your head leveled to your neck in order to relax your neck muscles. Don’t forget to invest on good quality pillows that allow you to level your head to your shoulders as you sleep!
If all else fails, seek a doctor and ask for pain medication. Don’t self-diagnose yourself, nor self-prescribe meds. It’s always better to seek professional opinion before taking medication!
Don't take your neck and shoulder pain lightly
While it could seem like a minor ailment, your neck and shoulders are connected to the spine. Despite the availability if pain relief solutions such as the heated neck and shoulder wrap, it’s best to prevent major ailments by exercising regularly and keeping a good posture.