Having a sore neck can interrupt every aspect of your life. It can make working, walking, sleeping and just being in your life a miserable and uncomfortable experience.
There are many ways that you can learn how to get rid of a sore neck. What is even more important is that you also learn how to prevent a sore neck from occurring again.
You also need to be aware of when a sore neck could be a sign of something more serious occurring and you should see your doctor.
What causes a sore neck?
There are hundreds of different reasons that you can get a sore neck. Everything from reading to watching TV or working out your shoulder muscles can cause it to happen. You also might have a condition like cervical or lumbar spondylosis too.
These and other conditions create the symptom of a sore neck, but the symptoms are caused by problems with the spine. A pinched nerve is also a cause of a sore neck, as is compensation.
What does compensation mean?
You would be surprised how many people complain of a sore neck and go to their doctor only to be told that their problem lies in their shoes.
One of the things that people tend to do is to wear sneakers or special “walking” shoes to help their lower back. This is especially good if you are working on your feet all day.
Unfortunately, what many people don’t realize is that these types of shoes have a very limited lifespan. Sneakers tend to stop being able to provide support after six months of wear. Once they time out, they tend to break down.
You can usually see the wear on the heels of your shoes or sneakers that reveal the problems with your posture and foot placement.
As you continue to wear down the sole, it reinforces the problem and throws off the alignment in your spine – which can then lead to a sore neck.
You may not feel the misalignment anywhere else in your body because your body is compensating for it by tilting in different directions all the way up from your ankles, through your knees, hips and spine until it reaches your neck and there is no more room to compensate. This is why bad shoes are very commonly a cause of a sore neck.
What can I do to prevent it?
The first suggestion for how to prevent a sore neck is to make sure you have good shoes. Then you want to start paying attention to your posture when sitting and standing.
The placement of your screens (TV or computer) is also important. More and more people are experiencing sore necks as a result of how they view their electronic devices than ever before.
Another key thing to watch for is how your sleep. You need to make sure you have a mattress and pillows that can adequately support you.
Another contributing factor to a sore neck is your overall state of health and fitness. Daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight relieve stress on the body so it is not compensating, or straining, to get you through your day.
How to get rid of a sore neck
Getting rid of a sore neck is very easy to do, but it may take some time for full relief to set in. Try the following to relieve your neck pain and one of them will work.
- Take an over the counter pain reliever and anti-inflammatory
- Ice your neck to reduce any pain or swelling.
- Slowly roll your head in each direction to move the neck.
- Tilt your head from side to side slowly to stretch out the side tendons of the neck.
- Have a neck massage.
- Use a deep freeze cream to help loosen the muscles.
- Drink water.
- Avoid salty or fatty foods.
- Eat bananas or other fruits and foods with high potassium levels.
- Stretch your arms and shoulders. Make slow circles with your arms in all directions to loosen and relax the muscles and tendons in the neck.
If you are looking for how to get rid of a sore neck then all of these methods will help. Don’t rely on just one, but use them in combination.
When a sore neck can indicate something more serious
If your sore neck isn’t going away, or is chronically returning, it may be an indicator of something more serious.
You should pay attention to whether or not it is “sore” or if you are getting shooting or stabbing pains with movement as well.
If none of the ways suggested for how to get rid of a sore neck work for you, you should discuss the pain with your doctor.
There are many different types of spondylosis that can have a very detrimental effect on your quality of life, but that can be controlled easily if they are caught early enough.
A sore neck, as mentioned earlier, can also be a sign of a problem elsewhere in the body that needs to be addresses as well. If you can’t make it better using these suggestions within a week’s time, see your doctor.
Things you should remember
It is easier than you think to pull a muscle, strain a tendon or pinch a nerve in the neck area. When you are learning how to get rid of a sore neck, you also have to pay attention to what you think caused it in the first place. Changes your habits and working on your posture can go a long way to preventing neck pain.
You should also consider engaging in some traditional practices – such as yoga or qi gong, that emphasize increasing your flexibility and resiliency.
Many of the poses associated with these physical arts are specifically designed to help prevent and relieve a sore neck too.
That said, you should also remember that many of the machine exercises common in gyms are a source of neck injuries and should take care with them as well.