Dr. Daniel J. Leizman, a specialist in Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management, suggests some common ways to relieve neck pain:
- Rub it out. Massage the trigger point and try to loosen up those taught muscle fibers.
- Soothe the hurt. Anti-inflammatories can help wipe out muscle pain. So can a heating pad or ice pack. Yes, either temperature variation may work.
- Find the root. Try to identify what’s “stressing out” your muscle. Then correct it so the knot in your muscle can “unwind.” Maybe it’s poor posture or an awkward workspace or falling asleep in the lounge chair. “Repetitive strain can make muscle fibers seize up,” says Dr. Leizman. “Even mental stress can cause muscle tension and trigger points.”
- Get moving. Aerobic exercise is very effective at combating trigger points, says Dr. Leizman. Try jumping jacks, swimming or other arm movements that engage the muscles in your shoulders and neck. “Not only are you stretching the muscles, you’re increasing their blood supply, pumping in good nutrients and filtering out toxins,” says Dr. Leizman.