Natural ways to treat neck pain
What causes neck pain?
Neck pain is very common and caused by the way we use our necks. It affects many people every year and for one in ten in can become a life long problem.
Our necks are designed to be flexible and strong but the heads is quite heavy. Our necks consists of ligaments, joints, muscles , our spinal cords and seven vertebrae which can all be delicate and easy to damage.
There are different types of neck pain. Sometimes your neck can just feel a bit stiff, other times you might suffer acute pain
and conditions such as whiplash can turn into chronic neck pain.
Stiff neck and postural pain
This neck condition can most often be easily dealt if you recognize the cause of the problem.
A typical sign is of postural pain is pain in the shoulders, back and head.
This type of pain is caused by the muscles becoming strained when we for instance use our computer, drive longer distances or carry heavy bags.
Stress can also cause pain in the neck and other muscles.
Try to sit right is very important, remembering your computer screen should ideally be slightly below eye level. It is also a good idea to invest in a decent neck pillow for the bed.
Acute neck pain
Acute neck pain most commonly occur when we move in an unusual way, draughts, viruses and diseases of the neck. In acute neck pain your muscles tend to go into spasms and this forces your head into peculiar positions which can cause tremendous pain, and a stiff neck.
Many people wake up with acute neck pain after having slept in a funny position.
Whiplash is a type of neck sprain cause by sudden shock caused when the neck is thrown forward and backwards in a rapid movement.
It most commonly occurs in car accidents and the symptoms may not be evident until a few hours later. The symptoms of whiplash are pain and stiffness in neck and shoulder muscles but the lower back can also be affected.
If you experience tingling or numbness in any of your limps after a car accident you should contact your doctor as this could indicate
a spinal cord injury. Whiplash should always be taken seriously as this can lead to long term problems.
After a whiplash injury you may experience some really bizarre symptoms such as your head feeling very heavy, tiredness, dizziness when putting your chin on your chest and even nasal congestion. You are a likely to suffer some loss of movement in your neck for a while, and some people notice a permanent loss of movement and stiffness.
Whiplash injuries often lead to long term dizziness as the nerves in the neck have been damaged, and there can also be a restriction in blood supply in smaller blood vessels.
Whiplash can cause some really bizarre problems and you may find your eyesight is affected and many complain about their head feeling "full" or a floating sensation sometimes rushing sensation.
Chronic neck pain
Chronic neck pain is often the result of a previous injury, uncorrected bad posture or arthritis of the neck.
Many people with chronic neck pain find that the cushioning discs between the vertebrae have been damage.
This damage can lead to pain, stiffness and clicking creaking noises. You might even have problems with tingling in the arms and legs
and bladder. Explaining your symptoms to your doctor and it is possible you will find a course of physiotherapy will help to free up trapped nervs and realign your neck.
As the neck is such an important tool I always recommend people to consider regular neck treatments such as massages or other therapies.
Natural remedies for neck pain
One of the most important issues to deal with is the pain as this can cause you to hold "yourself tight" and limit your movement which also makes the problem worse.
Many deal with the pain by taking pain killers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen which are conventional drugs however there are you should consider.
Always make pain treatment your top priority.
White willow bark - excellent natural remedy for pain control and it also reduces swelling. If you are suffering from whiplash this will help you to
regain your movement range.
Ginger - can also be used for pain control, helps to heal damaged nerves and eases stiffness. Also spreads a gentle warmth to the affected area as
ginger seems to have an ability to "home in" on pain.
Arnica and Arnica gel - arnica is probably the first line of defense against any trauma injury and the gel is nice and cooling. Great for reducing inflammation and promotes healing. I always recommend this as a treatment the first couple of days after a whiplash being diagnosed as the gel cools
reducing pain as well as any swelling. After a week I would continue with arnica treatment but switch to an arnica cream.
Lavender - massaging with lavender essential oil helps to relax the muscles, is very soothing and reduces spasms quickly.
MSM - if your suffer with chronic or long term neck problems you should consider this supplement as it supports ligaments as well as joints.
Glucosamine - this is another supplement which seems to provide help for long term sufferers.
Fish oil - great for stiff joints as it frees them up, and the oils DHA and EPA can help with dizziness.
Gingko Biloba - after a whiplash diagnosis start taking Gingko Biloba immediately. Fantastic healer for nerves, and those tine little blood vessels which supply our muscles. Start by taking three 6000 mg per day, and reduce after two weeks to one or two per day for the next month.
If you have a chronic problem you should consider using Gingko Biloba on an everyday basis.
Flax seed oil - many people with chronic neck pain find this to be the supplement which is help them the most, especially when combined with Gingko Biloba. Many of my clients with chronic neck pain find relief in a short period of time and I have had many return visits and phone calls from people exclaiming " the pain is gone".
Exercising for neck pain and neck problems
Any type of physical therapy is great for neck problems but once a client have dealt with the pain I always recommend the best exercise in the world - walking. Investing in a good pair of trainers and walking with your arms swinging works really well. It looses up all the muscles in the upper back and shoulders and relaxes the neck the muscles. When you are walking along move your head gentle from side to side and you have a nice exercise routine
for the entire body.