Having a stiff neck can be quite a nightmare, especially if you have plenty of things on your plate. Thankfully, you have several ways you can seek lasting neck pain relief in Escondido. Are you familiar with these options? If not, worry no more! We have rounded up the best neck pain remedies that you can try at home or with a healthcare professional like Dr. Rickards. But, before we deep dive into these solutions, let’s tackle some of the usual reasons behind a stiff neck.
Stiff Neck: Tracing the Possible Triggers
A stiff and painful neck can stem from several things. Some of these include the following:
Sleeping on your stomach
This specific position tends to twist the neck muscles and joints. So, it would be best to shift to a better sleeping position, such as sleeping on your side or your back.
Doing vigorous activities
Studies show that vigorous activities can stiffen the neck muscles. That’s why physical therapists and upper cervical care doctors strongly advise against doing things or movements that require excessive force.
Excessive stress and anxiety
Besides causing mental turmoil, stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on your physical health. That’s why it’s crucial to manage your sources of anxiety and stress.
Poor posture can compromise your spinal structure because the head’s weight puts undue mechanical strain on your topmost neck bones. As you might already know, the average human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. So, when you slouch or look down on your phone under the desk, your head forces the neck bones to shift by a small fraction.
If you keep doing the same things each day, the bones will move farther from the body’s central axis and leave you more susceptible to lingering and chronic neck pain.
Neck and head injury
Neck and head injuries – whether current or old – can affect the spinal structure and cause postural imbalances in the topmost neck bones. When this happens, the bones can tug on the muscle fibers on the neck and impinge on your nerve tissues. This causes severe neck pain that improve very little even after taking pain medications.
Unlocking Lasting Neck Pain Relief in Escondido: Top 8 Secrets
1. Don’t stress yourself out
Stress can trigger all sorts of health mishaps, including recurring neck pain. That’s why it’s good practice to keep in mind some of the best relaxation techniques, including:
- Scheduling time to de-stress and unplug from work
- Trying yoga, mindfulness training, and meditation
- Practicing gratitude for welcoming positive energy
- Unleashing your creative side with the help of a new hobby
- Eating stress-fighting food like chocolate, whole grains, and avocados
2. Straighten your back
Minding your posture is one of the key ways to unlock a pain-free life. This will help prevent the head from tilting at awkward angles and reduce mechanical stress on the topmost neck bones. Below are helpful posture tips you can try:
- Invest in a stand-up desk
- Say yes to an ergonomic workspace
- When standing, keep your feet apart and your shoulders relaxed
- Avoid slouching or slumping your body on your desk
- Steer clear of tech neck
- Switch to comfy shoes, especially during a busy day
3. Take a few minutes to stretch
Stretching exercises are quick and easy to do. So, we strongly suggest carving out about 10-15 minutes from your work schedule to flex your muscles and joints. You have plenty of stretching exercises to choose from, including:
- Side neck tilts
- Shoulder rolls
- Lateral neck extension
- Arm circles
- Chair rotation
- Thoracic extension
- Scapular squeeze
4. Check your car seat
According to the latest numbers, about 230 million Americans drive cars or other vehicles. Sadly, a large fraction of this population experiences recurring neck pain because of the driver’s seat. Are you among these individuals? If yes, we suggest trying the following:
- Adjust the angle of your seat, so you don’t need to lean forward while driving
- Use a lumbar roll to support your back
- Check the headrest and make sure that its mid-portion touches the back of your head
- Pull into the next car, stop and spend enough time stretching your legs and neck
5. Be physically active
A sedentary lifestyle can easily lead to recurring neck and shoulder pain. That’s because lack of physical activity stiffens the muscles and joints. It also affects blood circulation and other physiological functions needed to ensure smooth movements. So, we strongly recommend spending enough time each week on simple physical activities like jogging, swimming, walking your dog around the neighborhood, and weightlifting.
6. Mind your sleeping posture
The average American spends roughly 36 years lying on a bed throughout one’s lifetime. That’s why it’s not surprising why upper cervical chiropractors like Dr. Rickard often remind patients about the importance of sleeping posture. To ensure that your neck doesn’t suffer unnecessary strain during sleep, we strongly suggest doing the following:
- Use a pillow to adjust your neck while sleeping, especially if you sleep on your stomach
- Aim to keep your spine in a neutral and relaxed position
- If you sleep on your back, opt for a thinner pillow
- Try using a cervical pillow to keep your neck at a more suitable angle while you lay on the bed
- Check the firmness of your pillows and mattress
- Place a pillow between your knees to support your core while sleeping
7. Use heat or ice to cope with the pain and discomfort
Cold and hot packs are a must for anyone who experiences lingering neck pain. If your injury is relatively new or if you notice inflammation or tenderness, we suggest applying a cold compress first. This will help reduce the swelling and limit the buildup of lactic acid. Then, once the inflammation subsides, you can switch to a hot compress to encourage blood circulation and fast tissue repair.
8. Seek Dr. Rickards for Neck Bone Adjustments
If your neck pain fails to improve after trying the remedies we listed above, it may be time to schedule a trip to Rickards Precision Chiropractic & Wellness. A quick consultation with our chiropractor, Dr. Rickards, can help you understand why you experience neck pain in the first place and what you can do to move forward.
Dr. Rickards practices upper cervical chiropractic – a hyperfocused technique in chiropractic care that aims to provide lasting neck pain relief in Escondido. The process involves checking the alignment of the topmost neckbones and applying just enough force to dislodge the bones and encourage them to ease back to their original position.
It’s a sophisticated and scientifically-proven procedure that has helped thousands of patients unlock improved health. Hence, we strongly suggest exploring this option so you can help your body cope and heal as soon as possible.
Are you ready to tap into the best source of neck pain relief in Escondido? Contact us at Rickards Precision Chiropractic & Wellness. Please use our contact form or call us at (760) 274-0564.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rickards, call our Escondido office at (760) 274-0564. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.