Neck pain is no fun at all. It can be caused by something as obvious as an uncomfortable pillow, or something as obscure as wearing an unsupportive pair of shoes to work. It can come and go in a day, or it can slowly become worse and worse and plague your very existence. Fifty different people can experience neck pain for fifty different reasons, which means there is no simple solution or easy fix that works for everyone. Although there are numerous treatments available when it comes to neck pain relief, from acupuncture to massage therapy to ointments containing CBD, it can be hard to know which will work for you. Let’s take a look at some of the options.
Acupuncture – is it actually effective?
Acupuncture involves placing tiny needles in the skin at different, specific points on the body (depending on what is being treated) and has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The traditional theory is that acupuncture is effective by unblocking energy (qi), to allow it to flow through pathways known as meridians. Although this exact notion hasn’t been confirmed by western medicine, that doesn’t mean acupuncture can’t still be effective.
Some studies have shown that acupuncture is able to induce biochemical changes where the needles are placed, and also throughout the central nervous system. This suggests that acupuncture could reduce pain and improve neck mobility, and indeed this has been seen in some studies, though the relief was not long-term. Acupuncture can also reduce stress levels in some individuals, which may in turn reduce neck pain.
How massage therapy can help
Massage treatment is a common therapy that many individuals turn to when they are experiencing neck pain. Massage has been shown to increase neck mobility and also reduce pain and stiffness, depending on the cause of the pain. Massage can be an effective way of treating a stiff neck, or a pinched nerve, which is typically caused by pressure on a nerve, usually from a joint or a muscle. If these are the causes of your neck pain, massage therapy may provide the relief you are looking for. A deep tissue massage is great for reducing neck tension, and a Swedish massage can help to lengthen and relax muscles and tissues, making it effective for relieving neck, back, and shoulder pain.
Chiropractic therapy is somewhat more invasive than a massage but is still a natural, drug-free approach to treating neck pain. Through manipulation of the spine and joints, muscle and nerve pain can be alleviated. Around 8% of adults in the United States have turned to chiropractic care for pain relief, which is more than those turning to yoga, massage, or acupuncture. Many people swear by chiropractic treatment, claiming that they experience not only pain relief, but also believe that chiropractic treatment can address the actual source of their aches and pains.
During chiropractic treatment, the chiropractor uses their hands to apply controlled but a sudden force to a joint, to push the joint past its normal range of movement. The point of this is to loosen up joints that are painful or have reduced mobility (which may occur due to poor posture, for example). For neck pain, cervical manipulation is performed to loosen up the joints of the cervical vertebrae in the neck, by twisting the neck sharply and snapping the vertebrae back into alignment.
The role of CBD topical treatments in relieving neck pain
If you don’t love the idea of someone physically manipulating your neck, you may want to explore the world of CBD topical treatments. These treatments are not just “topical” because everyone is talking about CBD, but also because the ointment is applied topically to the area where the pain is felt. The full extent of the role of CBD in these ointments and creams has not yet been established, but many users experience significantly reduced pain and increased movement after using a CBD topical treatment. Whether this is due to CBD, or one of the other active ingredients like menthol or eucalyptus oil remains to be seen, but it’s possible that you will experience some relief from CBD topicals if you are suffering from back or neck pain.
The bottom line?
Neck pain can be extremely frustrating and debilitating, but at least there are a number of different treatment options that may provide you with some relief, including a great range of natural, non-invasive solutions like massage therapy and CBD topical treatments.