3 Alternative Cures for Neck Pain
Do you suffer from text neck?
As we increasingly use our smartphones and laptops in our digital world, neck pain is becoming more prevalent.
“Text neck” describes the jutted neck posture that results from hunching forward too long. This causes pressure on the back of the neck and can lead to postural issues, cervical and shoulder pain, as well as headaches.
The good news is that text neck is a very treatable condition.
If you experience new and unexplained neck pain that prevents you from sleeping or radiates down your arm, see your doctor immediately. However, for minor soreness in the neck, you can consider the following treatments:
1. Topical pain relievers
You can buy over-the-counter creams at a drugstore to rub into your painful neck. These creams contain active ingredients such as cooling menthol and camphor or warming capsaicin. Research shows that these work as counterirritants, which stimulate and then soothe pain receptors. Other creams use the analgesic methyl salicylate, which is related to aspirin.
These topical pain relievers can provide temporary relief so you can continue functioning normally as your body repairs itself. Alternating a heating pad and ice for 20 minutes twice a day is also an effective remedy that promotes circulation and blood flow for faster healing.
2. Acupressure pillows
These are neck wraps and pillows that soothe aches by targeting pressure points in the neck. They are a drug-free alternative to traditional pain treatments. Acupressure has long been practiced in holistic medicine across cultures to relieve pain. The pressure works in two ways – firstly, it distracts from the sensation of pain by targeting other areas, and secondly, the pressure alleviates spasms and cramping.
When you use acupressure pillows, remember to limit how long you leave them on to under two hours so you can avoid getting pressure sores. Stop using them immediately if your skin gets irritated.
3. TENS units
TENS units are transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators. They send electrical pulses through pads placed on sore spots. They reduce pain by stimulating the brain to release endorphins; hence, used frequently by therapists and physicians.
The pain relief you experience usually lasts for the time that you use the machine, which is about 30 minutes. It is helpful with certain types of pain.
Ask your physician to refer you to a medical professional that can safely treat you with TENS. Also, avoid home versions, as they can cause fainting or an irregular heartbeat if used incorrectly.
Note that smartphones aren’t the only cause of neck pain. Carrying heavy objects, aging, or arthritis are other common causes of neck pain. You should identify the cause of the pain before determining the best treatment for you.
Author: Jesamine Dyus
Images sourced from FreePik