6 Ways to Treat Back Pain and Neck Pain Holistically
Have you been experiencing severe back or neck pain? Have you ever wondered if there was a way to treat your discomfort without relying on pain medications or other forms of medical treatment? Many people are told that pain medication or surgery are their only options to reduce the pain that they’re experiencing. For most, there are drawbacks to both of these options. Overuse of pain medication comes with its own series of risks and complications, and it is impossible to guarantee the results of surgery. So what’s left? Fortunately, you don’t have to live with back pain and neck pain. Read on to discover 6 ways to treat back pain and neck pain holistically, without the use of pain medication, and without surgery.
#1. Practice deep stretches
One of the leading causes of back pain and neck pain are muscles that have become knotted and strained over time. When a muscle becomes knotted, strained, or tense, it’s usually because that area of the body is being overused and overworked. Muscles also can become knotted and frozen when they are compensating for spinal misalignment in the body. This means that when the bones and joints are not in their proper position, they still need support from somewhere—and that’s when muscles step in.
Muscle tension can also be the result of an overly active or inactive lifestyle, the product of an injury, or a side-effect of stress. Whatever the cause, deep stretches are a valuable tool for reducing muscle tension across the body, and even subtly strengthening the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of an area. Consult a professional to determine which stretches would be best for your body, and how long you should hold them, based on where you’re experiencing pain.
#2. Regularly engage in strength-building exercises
Another cause of neck pain and back pain is weak muscles. When muscles are weak, they are not sufficiently able to hold the weight of the body for whatever region that they’re responsible for. This can cause other, nearby muscles and joints to take the brunt of the weight, which of course can lead to pain and discomfort as those muscles become strained and the body becomes further imbalanced.
To help strengthen the muscles in your back and neck, consult a professional to determine what exercises would be best for you. Strength-building exercises often include lifting external weights or your own body weight. For this reason, they are specifically designed to help strengthen specific muscle groups, and an expert trainer or physical therapist will be able to determine exactly which exercises would best suit your unique needs.
#3. Use hot and cold temperatures to treat pain
If you’re experiencing radiating or throbbing pain in a certain area, there is a possibility that the pain could be either inflammation and nerve related, or muscle tension related. In both cases, temperature regulated treatment can help.
Experiment with both a heating pad and a cold compress. Identify what time of the day you experience the most pain, as well as any activities that may correlate with the onset of the discomfort. Depending on whether your pain is caused by an injury, accident, or some other cause, experimenting with temperature and time of treatment will allow you to determine what form of treatment is most effective, and could even help you discover the origin of the pain.
#4. Correct your sleeping posture and sleeping patterns
Did you know that you practice posture in your sleep? Most people spend an average of between 6 and 9 hours in bed each night. During this time, your body is locked into a specific position. Some individuals may find that they change posture over the course of the night, but this is not true for everyone. Irrespective of whether you move significantly in your sleep or not, your body is still undergoing a series of postures every single night, and these postures all affect your waking life.
For side sleepers, it is very common that the head is placed in forward head posture, which can train the head to sit forward on the neck during the day. For back and combination sleepers, it is common for pillows to be situated too low or too high, and in both cases, this compromises the strength and support of the neck.
If you’re experiencing neck or back pain, it’s imperative that you explore your sleeping posture to ensure that your sleep is not responsible for compromising your posture and creating pain throughout your day.
#5. Ensure that your workspace is providing ergonomic support
Your workspace consists of repetitive movements and positions that you spend time in every day for hours. The amount of time spent in these positions is a huge factor in the condition of your spine, which contributes to both back and neck pain when it is imbalanced.
Ergonomics refers to the efficiency of your work environment. The better your work environment affects your posture and your body, the more efficiently you will be able to perform the tasks required as part of your work duties.
If you work mostly in a sitting position, consider your posture. Your computer screen, if you use one, should be located at least one arm’s length away from your face, and the center of your screen should be aligned with where your gaze when gazing straight ahead.
Your arms should bend at a 90 degree angle, your wrists straight, and your hands relaxed.
Similarly, if you work in an active or standing capacity, you should have a stool available with which you can rest one leg at a time. You should have the opportunity for frequent breaks, or to sit when needed, and should practice upright posture as possible.
If you need to improve your work ergonomics, speak with your human resources department, or your direct supervisor, to determine how you can improve your work environment to better support your back and neck health.
#6. See a chiropractor who will give you a personalized treatment plan
If you’re experiencing neck pain or back pain, it’s time to see a chiropractor. At Advanced Spine and Posture of Henderson, Nevada, we believe in providing the most personalized care available. At your first appointment, your expert chiropractor will provide a thorough and comprehensive assessment to determine the source of your pain, and best treatment to help resolve your discomfort. If you’re prepared to experience the transformational effects of chiropractic care, book your appointment today.