Severe headache and neck pain often go hand-in-hand. When you are facing an attack, it usually helps if you know of a few quick-relief options. This article will discuss remedies that include applying ice packs on the neck to relieve the pain.
The Neck Takes Centerstage
The neck is a small, well-structured section that serves as a bridge between the head and the body. It has seven vertebrae with disc inserts. The discs help the neck achieve mobility. They also serve as cushions that absorb the brunt of any impact.
Even with its slender form, a properly aligned neck can take on a load of about 12 pounds without any discomfort. A mid-size bowling ball or a small dog weighs this much, so that is the maximum capacity your neck can carry without triggering any pain receptors.
Origins Of Neck Pain
Your neck ache can be due to a lot of things, including bad habits and diseases. Here are a few things that can lead to discomfort in the neck area:
We now know that an aligned neck can take on a load of about 10 pounds. However, when we lean our head forward or tilt our neck downwards, these seemingly harmless moves increase the head’s load by up to 5x. The total weight is now over 60 pounds, which can cause strain that can trigger severe headache and neck pain.
Arthritis can cause pain in the neck area. Swollen joints mean that the vertebrae become stiff and less limber.
Cervical Spondylosis causes dehydration and thinning of the neck’s discs. This increases the likelihood of bone-to-bone impact during movement. The friction can trigger pain signals transmitted to the brain.
Cancer and viral infections can also trigger neck pain.
A study presented to the Association of Academic Physiatrists showed that smokers have a higher risk of developing a microvascular disease. A disease of the body’s small blood vessels negatively impacts the delivery of nutrients to the cervical discs. When not addressed, this causes disc degeneration. One of its effects is progressive neck pain.
Injuries caused by accidents or sports can lead to neck pain. Whiplash, pinched nerve, and neck fractures are the usual conditions linked to sports or vehicular incidents. Each of these conditions brings about severe headache and neck pain.
8 Ways To Ease Your Neck Pain
1. Ice packs
If there is a swollen section in your neck, you can apply an ice pack to reduce the bulge and inflammation. Make sure to use a soft cloth and wrap the ice pack. Test your skin’s sensitivity as well. To maximize the benefits of an ice pack, you can do the following:
- Hold an ice pack against the injured area soon after the injury or accident.
- Time every application. Make sure that the ice pack does not stay on the same spot for 20 consecutive minutes. Doing so might cause blisters.
If you want to heighten an ice pack’s benefits, you can pair it with a hot pack. Alternate applications can quickly minimize the swelling
2. Light massages
Gently massaging the neck area can help relieve muscle tension and possibly relieve aches. When the neck’s muscles start to relax, blood can flow better, and the nerves may reduce the pain signals.
3. Proper posture
Sitting or standing straight keeps your neck aligned with the rest of the body. It keeps the load to the desired range of 10-12 pounds. Remember that leaning forward increases the weight taken on by the head. Neck pain is the unlikely result of such an action.
Unless you are the subject of an art class and need to keep perfectly still, try and move throughout the day. Avoid keeping a single position because doing so leads to muscle tension and pressure build-up.
Loosen those strained neck muscles by stretching gently. Mind your body’s reactions so avoid abrupt moves.
Start letting go of your nicotine dependency. Every time you crave a stick, remember that it has debilitating effects that start as neck pain but can eventually progress to a more severe condition.
7. Neck pillows
As a relief option, pillows can bring about immediate results. Resting your head and neck for at least 6-8 hours a day on a well-designed and comfortable pillow will free you from soreness when you wake up. Feeling restful will help you get started with your day. If you have pillows that make sleeping uncomfortable and painful, now is the time to invest and buy a new set.
8. Upper cervical chiropractic therapy
Upper cervical chiropractors believe that neck pain and the resulting headaches might be due to displaced bones and discs in the neck. As trained professionals, they can identify misalignment issues and develop an appropriate program to restore symmetry.
Chiropractic Care for Severe Headache and Neck Pain
There are experienced upper cervical chiropractors who can determine cervical alignment issues. Using targeted yet gentle approaches, they can restore the alignment of your bones and discs. One of the possible outcomes of a realigned neck is relief from head and neck discomfort.
Upper cervical chiropractors are passionate about improving your well-being. Our directory shows the contact details of every chiropractor at Upper Cervical Awareness. Use this resource to find one nearest you.