How to Relieve Neck Pain at Home

,The best way to relieve neck pain at home is to live with a chiropractor, massage therapist, or physical therapist (LOL)… but if your spouse or roommates have chosen a different career path, then you’re going to need to figure this out yourself. But don’t worry, as long as your neck problem isn’t too serious there’s actually a lot of things you can do to relieve neck pain at home. 

What were you doing just before you noticed your neck pain and stiffness?

If you were to go see a doctor about your neck pain, this would be one of the first questions they would as you. Necks don’t just hurt for no reason, and “I must have slept funny” is rarely the cause of neck pain or neck stiffness. For instance – were you staring at your phone or tablet for a couple hours doing a deep dive on social media with your head looking down the whole time? Were you typing at your desk with your shoulders slightly shrugged for a couple hours? Were you chopping a pile of veggies at the kitchen counter or folding a massive pile of laundry? Did you fall asleep with the help of medication or alcohol and sleep in the same position for hours and hours? These are all activities that would cause your neck muscles to be contracted (tight) for a long time without any breaks. 

The human body was made to move in a variety of ways and doesn’t do well with repetitive motion or lack of motion. Muscles are designed to contract and relax – not just stay contracted for hours on end. So, if you notice your neck pain often follows a certain type of activity then try to make that activity easier on your neck muscles and take more frequent breaks if possible. 


Get warm then get to work…

Changing up the activity you’re doing before your neck pain starts is the first step, but now you’ve got to deal the with neck pain you’ve already got. Most people try to stretch their neck to help the pain, but there’s something that needs to happen first – exercises to balance the tone (tension) in your neck muscles. Use a heating pad for about 10 minutes to get your neck warm then start doing some gentle exercises. Three Youtube channels that are helpful for finding the best neck exercises are here, here, and here. When you go to these channels, look for “neck exercises” and follow along. Let pain be your guide… if you have any sharp pain or get any numbness or tingling then stop and find a good doctor so you don’t risk making the problem worse. 


Stretching comes after the exercises…

Now that you’ve got your muscles some of the exercise they probably need, it’s time to stretch them and improve their flexibility. Being too stiff and inflexible is a big problem for a lot of people and can lead to aches and pain. When we exercise at the gym or at home we tend to spend more time trying to get stronger and forget about improving our flexibility – it’s being flexible that helps prevent injury. Unless you’re a professional athlete, chances are your job and everyday activities are not helping to keep you flexible, you have to work at it daily. There’s 100’s of different stretches you can do for you body and here’s a few that you can use for your neck


What if nothing seems to help?

Then it’s time to find a doctor that can perform some testing and exams to help you find and address the root cause of the problem.