Are you experiencing constant stiffness and pain in your neck? Perhaps you’ve noticed yourself getting headaches that seem to originate from your neck and shoulder area. Or, maybe the range of motion while turning your head feels compromised.
If any of these symptoms have you nodding your head along (and wincing in pain), you may be dealing with some arthritis in your neck. While many of these symptoms come on slowly over time, arthritic pain can be incredibly debilitating and make everyday activities both uncomfortable and frustrating.
However, you don’t need to let your arthritis pain run the show! Take control of your day-to-day comfort with some of these super-approachable at-home remedies.
What Causes Arthritis In The Neck?
Arthritis in the neck, or cervical spondylosis, is actually a pretty normal part of aging. As we get older, the bones and cartilage that make up our spine go through some serious wear and tear over the years. Makes sense, right? After all, we put them through a lot of use!
Essentially what happens, is that the discs between our vertebrae that act as cushions can begin to dry out and shrink a bit, typically after the age of 40. This can gradually lead to more bone-on-bone contact between the vertebrae, which does not feel too pleasant. This is when arthritis happens. Cervical spondylosis can also occur as a result of herniated discs, bone spurs, or stiff ligaments, which can all be associated with signs of aging as well.
Treating An Arthritic Neck At Home
A really common misconception for treating an arthritic neck is to focus primarily on stretching routines. Though the stiffness that so commonly accompanies arthritis may make it tempting to constantly stretch the area, try to restrain yourself. As it turns out, researchers have found that simple strength exercises are more effective than stretching, improving arthritic neck pain up to 10 times better than those left untreated. Some patients have even found complete relief from a sound physical therapy routine. That’s a huge win!
On top of physical therapy, here are some of the best ways to begin at-home treatment for your arthritic neck pain:
- Ice and / or heat: Try applying both ice and heat to the affected area for relief. You can alternate these two stimuli’ to discover what works best for you specifically.
- Light exercise: Though exercise may seem counterintuitive when you’re in pain, some gentle movement can actually help speed your recovery process. Try taking some walks during your lunch break, after work hours, or the following dinner.
- Eat healthy foods: This means making sure that your vegetable, fruit, and whole-grain intake is at a healthy level. Fill up on the stuff that’s good for you and pass on highly-processed foods, fried, and fast-foods. Investing in a sound diet can help your body decrease inflammation, which is vital to healing. It also has a whole host of other health benefits.
- Basic strengthening routines: You should always consult with a professional before starting any at-home exercises, but finding a physical therapy routine that is appropriate for your injury history can be so incredibly beneficial. These routines can help to strengthen the specific, tiny muscles within and around your neck to help your body better support your spine.
How Chiropractic Can Help With Neck Arthritis
Have you tried treating your neck pain at home, to no avail? Is this an ongoing issue that you’re not sure how to tackle yourself? Or, perhaps you’re looking to be more proactive about some of your health concerns. If any of these describe your current situation, it’s time to seek professional help.
Chiropractic care can provide the relief you are seeking. Gentle, chiropractic adjustments of the spine help to alleviate pressure on your joints, decrease inflammation, and allow your entire body to function optimally. Additionally, your practitioner can recommend appropriate at-home exercises specific to your injury history to perform outside of the office. This can pay huge dividends toward your healing timeline.
Don’t neglect your health any longer; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (423) 380-1155.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.