Tips on stopping neck pain - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tips on stopping neck pain

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August 26, 2003

Albany - It's a pain most of us have dealt with at least a few times in our life - a crick in the neck. A crick is often caused when a joint or muscle spasms, and it can be unbearable.

When we wake up with a crick, most of us head straight to the medicine cabinet. But before rubbing on the muscle ache ointment or taking some pain medicine, Chiropractor Tim Wilbanks says you should ice your neck. "Always ice before heat for any neck pain," said Wilbanks.

For immediate relief try a massage. The Parlor Massage Therapist Doug Beier says a good massage can relax most muscle spasms. "A massage can relieve muscle tension which often leads to muscle spasms," said Beier.

But if the pain doesn't go away with a few days or if you start getting headaches, call a professional. "If the headaches persist or if the pain travels down your arm and tingles, you should come in and see a chiropractor," said Wilbanks.

Wilbanks says most common neck cricks can be avoided by investing in a good mattress and pillow. "You don't want a mattress that's too soft or too firm. And, your pillow should keep you neck in line with your spine." Also, use good posture at home and at work. "Make sure you're not reaching up or down to type at your desk. Improper working environments can strain your back and neck."

Dr. Wilbanks suggests using a book holder when working at your desk, so you don't have to constantly raise your head up and down which often leads to neck and back pain.

Posted at 6:15PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com