Nagging neck pain is attributed to many causes, including sleeping and sitting in the wrong position, not eating enough foods rich in vitamin B12, or even not getting enough water. Regardless of the cause, these 10 natural ways to alleviate neck pain can get you back to normal in not time.
For chronic pain, try applying a small warm bag filled with rice or wheat to your neck. Simply place the bag in the microwave for two minutes. Once heated, apply it to your neck for 15 minutes. The heat should help the muscles in your neck expand and relax, relieving the pain.
Eat Foods Containing Vitamin B12
Getting a steady dose of vitamin B12 thickens the protective sheath covering the nerves. This can keep them from reacting to pain as much. Foods rich in vitamin B12 include eggs, milk, cheese, and various meats, such as fish, shellfish, and poultry.
Use a Towel
A poor posture can lead to neck pain. To fix this, roll a towel and place it around your neck. Grasping each end of the towel in your hands and pull it tight while tensing your muscles. You should hold this position until the muscles in your neck start to feel tired.
Apply pressure to specific points on your body to relieve neck pain. Often-used pressure points for this include on your shoulder between the rotator cuff and vertebrae, at the hollow at the base of your skull, in the groove between the knuckles of your ring and little finger, and between the thumb and index finger.
Drink plenty of water to help keep the discs between the vertebrae of your spine properly lubricated. This helps maintain the proper alignment of your spine, as well as relieves pressure. In fact, drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day goes a long way toward preventing future neck pain.
Change How You Sleep
How you sleep and rest also affects whether you have pain or not in your neck. When lying down, sleep on your back, if possible, with a small pillow beneath your head. Avoid resting on your stomach or using a pillow that is too thick.
Get a Massage
Visiting a massage therapist can also help alleviate neck pain. Properly trained massage therapists know exactly where and how to massage the muscles in the neck area to relieve inflammation and help the muscles relax. In addition, massage therapists can help alleviate salt deposits on the neck from sitting too long.
Use Neck Exercises
In addition to seeing a massage therapist, you can reduce neck pain yourself by performing neck exercises. Start by rotating your neck slowly in a circular motion. Next, move your head slowly to the left and right as far as it will go. Finally, move your neck back and forth.
To reduce inflammation in the neck area, eat foods containing turmeric. Turmeric contains the antioxidant Curcumin, which also reduces swelling. Optionally, you could drink tea with turmeric and honey to gain its benefits instead.
Apply an Ice Bag
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If your neck pain is more recent, such as from an injury, place an ice bag on your neck for 15 minutes to reduce swelling. The cold temperature of the ice reduces blood flow to the area, which is the leading cause for inflammation. Make sure not to apply the ice directly to the skin, using a bag instead.