According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, there’s an 85% chance that you’ll develop some degree of arthritis in the neck after the age of 60.1 While certain things are beyond our control, managing arthritis pain in the neck is not. In the following sections, we’re going to show you five ways that you can effectively treat arthritis in the neck, and reduce the pain that you experience on a day-to-day basis.
As with any change to your treatment regimen, it’s important to consult your doctor before attempting any of the pain-reduction methods suggested.
1. Heat and Cold Therapy
You may have heard that thermotherapy, the use of heat in therapy, is an effective way of treating pain in the neck due to arthritis. This method has merit. How does it work? By increasing circulation through the joints, bones, and muscles within your neck. Without ample blood flow, areas in your neck will be deprived of oxygen, and this leads to dead or dying muscle tissue, weakening your neck and forcing you to rely on your bones for keeping your head up. Ultimately, this leads to more pain.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you can also use cold therapy to constrict the blood vessels in your neck and decrease inflammation. Doctors recommend using hot and cold therapy in intervals of 30 minutes each.
2. Take Supplements
There are many supplements that may be able to help with inflammation and pain in the neck due to arthritis. One of the most popular are supplements that include omega-3 fatty acids. Often found in flaxseeds and fish, omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory agents that may help to combat arthritis symptoms. Make sure that you consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
3. Massage Therapy
Pain in the neck due to arthritis may be alleviated, at least temporarily, by getting regular massages in the affected area. When your neck becomes inflamed due to arthritis, have a licensed massage therapist lightly stroke the neck muscles. What will this accomplish? It will stimulate blood flow to your neck, which may lessen the pain. While it won’t necessarily eliminate the underlying causes of arthritis, it’s definitely a pleasant alternative.
Regular exercise is great for many reasons. Not only can it decrease your chances of getting heart disease and stroke, but for people with chronic pain in the neck due to arthritis, it may help relieve your symptoms. Whenever you exercise, your brain releases “endorphins,” which are feel-good chemicals that can temporarily relieve pain for up to twenty four hours. Relief may be longer or shorter depending on your physiology.
But there’s also another benefit to exercising for people with arthritis in the neck: it increases blood flow. As you’ve probably noticed by now, a common theme for treating arthritis in the neck is to increase blood flow to the affected areas.
Exercise is yet another way to do this. Try to get at least five hours of aerobic activity in per week for optimal results.
Pain in the neck due to arthritis can feel debilitating. Fortunately, there are options for easing the pain. They include hot and cold therapy, supplements, massage and exercise. Speak with your doctor or medical professional about the above methods and more to see what you can do to be proactive and relieve your arthritic neck pain.