Neck and back pain are often the effects of daily activities while others are due to injuries. You can feel soreness from the skull’s base that flows to your shoulder region and upper back part with neck pain. As for back pain, it usually occurs due to abnormal fit of your discs, muscles, and spinal joints. If these pains worsen, you may have difficulties performing your daily tasks. Thus, it’s best to seek medical attention to identify the best possible treatment.
For hacks to relieve your neck and back pain, here are some things you can try:
1. Apply Hot Or Cold Compress
One of the best at-home remedies for neck and back pain is a hot or cold compress. A cold compress is best used during the first three days the pain started. It works because ice is a natural pain-reliever, and it helps your blood vessels contract, which decreases the swelling or inflammation around the muscle area.
When you’re using a cold compress, avoid putting the ice directly on the skin. It’s best to put the ice on a washcloth or a towel to add protection. Press the cold compress onto your skin for 15 minutes, then give it a break for a few minutes.
If you’re still experiencing pain in your back and neck area after three days, then it might be better to use a hot compress. Unlike cold compress, hot compress relaxes the muscles, reducing tension. The only downside is it can dilate blood vessels which might inflame the muscle more. If you decide to use heat, remember only to keep it on the skin for 15 minutes and then put ice for another 15 minutes.
2. Try Diaphragm Breathing
The diaphragm is an essential muscle that’s located just below your ribs. Its main function is to assist the body when breathing, but it remains largely underutilized among many people as most use only their upper traps, neck, and rib cage to breathe. Overusing these parts can often make the muscles near the surrounding area tight and painful.
To combat this, you can try a simple breathing exercise you can do any time of the day. For instance, when you’re lying down, put a hand over your chest and another over your stomach. Try inhaling for four seconds through your nose, and notice how your stomach rises. When you exhale, you should see your stomach returning to normal while your chest should remain still during the practice.
With this technique, you can prevent neck and back pain coming from incorrect breathing. Your front neck muscles can take abnormal loading from incorrect breathing. When this happens, they become problematic, transmitting the soreness to your shoulders to the neck. By breathing correctly, you can relax your muscles and lower blood pressure throughout the body.
3. Set Up An Ergonomic Workplace
Another preventative hack for neck and back pain is to have an ergonomic workstation, especially if you’re working at a desk in front of a computer for about eight hours a day. A working condition like this usually leads to stiff neck and back pain.
You can prevent such with these ergonomic tips:
- Standing up and stretching every single hour.
- Maintaining an ergonomic posture while sitting. Your back should be leveled to your desk.
- Placing your feet on a flat surface where your knees are slightly lower than your hips.
- Making sure your monitor screen is at eye level.
- Using a more ergonomic keyboard and mouse. They should keep your arms, wrists, elbows, and hands in a natural position.
4. Consult A Physical Therapist
Generally, most people think that physical therapy is only for physical injuries caused by playing sports or an accident. However, physical therapy is available to anyone experiencing muscle pain, especially on the neck and back.
Seeing a physical therapist can help you determine poor posture habits that are causing your muscles to swell up. Therapists also help in fortifying weak areas around your body through custom exercise. With these exercises, you can learn some that can help you relieve neck and back pain immediately. Lastly, physical therapy can also teach you ways to decrease the possibility of reinjury.
Persistent neck and back pain can be annoying, making you lose your sense of mobility. If you’re working, it can impede your productivity since you may not function well. Thus, knowing these hacks that are easy to use can help you relieve the pain. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you take good care of your body.