Don't Try These Things When Your Neck Hurts

Many people try to fix their own health problems instead of seeking the care of a professional, which can often be bad news. This can especially be true with your neck — when it's sore, you definitely want to visit a chiropractor who can safely treat the issue. Until you're able to get in for an appointment, you should be selecting about how you try to fix the problem yourself. For example, a hot shower or an ice pack held on your neck may relieve some of your discomforts, as may taking a non-prescription pain pill. Here are some things that you might be tempted to try, but that you should avoid:

Cracking Your Neck

When you feel as though there's a kink in your neck, you may feel that cracking it could help. This is the same logic that you might apply to a sore finger that can feel a little better when you crack the knuckle. Cracking your neck isn't something that you should attempt, however. Putting pressure on your neck can potentially bother the many nerves that run through this area, which could quickly leave you in more pain that you initially had. A chiropractor can adjust your neck, which often yields a crack, but he or she has years of training to do the job safely.

Pulling Your Neck

Sometimes, it will feel as though your discs are pushing down on each other, which can indeed happen. Sometimes, one disc will even slide out of line, which is a situation known as a slipped or herniated disc. Logic dictates that if you were to grab your head and pull it upward, or possibly hang upside down, the space between the discs will increase and the pressure will lessen. This is technically true, but an untrained individual pulling too hard can strain ligaments and muscles, as well as exacerbate your pain.

Stretching Your Neck

Another less-than-ideal way to address your neck pain is to attempt to stretch it. While mild stretching may indeed alleviate muscle pain to a degree, you want to be very sure that all you're dealing with is muscle pain. If you have an inflamed nerve, for example, stretching the neck to either side can augment your discomfort. Even though you might feel helpless not being able to alleviate your pain on your own, rest assured that a visit to the chiropractor will help you to feel better.

Contact a medical office like Beltline Chiropractic for more information and assistance.