Neck pain, the constant problem
A night on an unfamiliar mattress, a breeze from an open window, a jerk with your head – you’ll get neck pain pretty quickly. This upper part of our spine is equipped with a particularly large number of muscles, fibers and nerves. This allows us to move our head in a variety of directions and quickly grasp our surroundings without having to turn our entire body. However, it is precisely with frequent incorrect strain that the neck suffers – whether through sport or through incorrect posture when sitting or lying down. We show you how you can treat pain in the neck area gently and easily from home.
Neck pain causes – that’s where the discomfort comes from
Neck pain is usually not a cause for concern
In most cases, it is simply tense muscles that are responsible for the pain. But aching in the neck area can also occur with colds or flu. If you are under great stress or experience other psychological pressure, this can also be a reason for the pain. Neck pain is not really dangerous in most cases. However, if it occurs shortly after a strong shock, for example due to a fall or accident, then fractures or inflammations may well be the cause. Then you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
This helps with mild neck pain
If you have identified tension or nerve irritation as the cause of your pain in the neck, you can do something about it yourself. Gentle exercise such as yoga, swimming or walking will help your muscles relax. Special exercises for the back and neck also help to relieve the pain. However, you should always make sure that you don’t put too much strain on your neck or fall into a relieving posture. This will prevent the tension from hurting for the moment, but in the long run it will overload other muscles. You can also relax with warmth, for example from a hot water bottle, with massages and with oils and ointments containing essential oils. Especially in the case of psychological causes, peppermint oil, for example, helps you to relax. Ointment with cayenne pepper warms up minor sports injuries, relieves pain and prevents inflammation.
What pillow for neck pain helps?
This is why you have neck pain after sleeping
None of us jump out of bed like a stand-up guy. Muscles get stiff when you don’t move them for a long time. Especially if you lie in an unnatural position, your muscles tense up and that leads to pain. Especially if you often sleep on your stomach or on your side and don’t have a suitable mattress and pillow, you will quickly wake up with a sore neck. Because in these sleeping positions, your neck is exposed to a special load.
How to find the right pillow against neck pain
Above all, the perfect pillow should be adapted to your sleeping position. It’s best to try it out and make sure that your spine is natural and relaxed when you lie down. If the pillow is too high or too low, your neck will be bent and the muscles will be under constant tension. Especially as a side sleeper, it is important to have the right pillow for sleeping. If you suffer from allergies, you should also make sure that your mattress and bedding are suitable for allergy sufferers. This way, you’ll sleep more relaxed overall and won’t unconsciously tense up in your sleep because you have breathing problems, for example.
How can I quickly relieve neck pain?
Heat for neck pain
Of course, the best way to combat tension is to relax. Take a warm bath while consciously making sure to keep your neck straight. If you can, lay your head on the water so that your spine is completely straight. This way you will relax your muscles and discs.
Cold for neck pain
If you want to relieve neck pain, it’s important to know how it got there in the first place. Heat is helpful in many cases, but not always. If your neck pain is not caused by muscle tension but by inflammation, cold is the remedy of choice. Cooling compresses will help the inflammation subside.
Home remedies for neck pain
Curd compress against neck pain
The medicine cabinet also has a few recipes for neck pain. So you can make yourself a quark wrap to warm the painful area. Quark also has a decongestant effect on inflammations. First, warm the curd in a water bath so that it becomes slightly warm. Then spread a layer about 5 millimeters thick on a cloth. Then put another kitchen towel over it and fold it into a strip as wide as the length of your neck. Now put the quark wrap on your neck and wrap a wide scarf around it to keep the warmth as long as possible.
Tea against aching
A hot cup of tea is pure relaxation! And thus it has a double effect against neck pain. On the one hand, you take out the psychological pressure that is often a reason for pain in the neck area. On the other hand, certain herbal teas such as chamomile, nettle or rosemary additionally ensure that the inflammation subsides.
Essential oils against neck pain
Essential oils are not only suitable for aromatherapy, but they can also relieve tension. Massage a few drops of rosemary or lavender oil onto the painful area. The rubbing creates heat, so the active ingredients in the oil are released and promote circulation. When your neck has good blood flow, inflammation can be cleared more easily and the muscles can relax again. For tips on massaging with oils, click here.
Neck pain nausea – How is it related?
The combination for tension
Neck pain and nausea by themselves are not exactly pleasant. It is even more disturbing when the two meet. This happens quite often because the tense neck muscles are located particularly close to the head. As a result, the pain also radiates into the head and the center of balance, causing additional nausea.
Migraine as a cause of neck pain with nausea
Especially if the combination of neck pain and nausea occurs regularly for you, migraine may be the cause. After all, 70% of migraine patients suffer from headaches with nausea. If you suspect migraine, it is useful to keep a pain diary in which you note down when, where and in what form the pain occurs. This will help you explain to your doctor what your problem is. If you suffer from migraines regularly, you may be prescribed a prophylactic medication.
What you can do
We can recommend light stretching exercises, especially for acute complaints. Stand relaxed on both feet, stretch your spine and start to roll your head slowly from one side in front over your chest to the other side. You should do this very slowly and gently so that sharp pains don’t suddenly shoot up your neck. If you arrive at a particularly painful position, pause briefly and wait for the tension to release. However, you should never rest your head on the back of your neck during this exercise, as rolling in this position can very easily injure your spine.
The right diet
If you feel nauseous, you won’t have much of an appetite on your own. Nevertheless, try to eat small meals at regular intervals and drink enough. This is because an irritated stomach also needs nutrients. Gentle foods are those that are not too spicy. Oatmeal with banana and rusks also soothe the stomach lining. Ginger or chamomile tea not only help relieve tension, but also fight nausea.