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Hot or Cold? Treatment for Neck Pain

By Sara Butler

Neck pain can be caused by a variety of things. From inflammation to repetitive movements to trauma or injury, once neck pain strikes all you want to do is get rid of it. The best way to treat neck pain for good is to visit the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic, but there are a few things you can do on your own to help you deal with neck pain between chiropractic visits. One of the easiest at-home treatments is the application of hot or cold compacts to help reduce pain and inflammation. Here's what the chiropractors at The Joint think you need to know about hot and cold remedies and a few other options you may want to try.

The Risks

While finding a way to help relieve your pain is a step in the right direction, understanding the cause of the pain is crucial in the long term. The chiropractors at The Joint have found that the most common risk factors for the development of neck pain are:

  • Lifestyle factors - If you are exposed to tobacco smoke, smoke or participate in repetitive motions at work, then you're at risk for neck pain
  • Movement factors - Sports injuries or car accidents, poor posture, and sitting for long periods of time in the same position can cause issues

See the chiropractors at The Joint to assist you in figuring out what the underlying issue for your neck pain may be.

Hot or Cold?

Ice and heat can be effective for aches and pains. The trick is to understand which to use and when. Ice tends to be best for reducing swelling and inflammation. Often, ice is most effective in the first 24 hours after an injury, but it can be effective after the first 24 hours when alternated with heat.

Heat is often used after ice to help relax your muscles and reduce muscle spasms. You can alternate heat with ice by applying ice for about 20 minutes, then rest for about 30 minutes, then apply a heating pad or hot compress for about 20 minutes. For both ice and heat, simply ensure the source of the ice or heat isn't applied directly to the skin. Protect your skin with a towel.

Keep Moving

Between applying heat or ice to your neck for pain, make sure to keep moving. Avoid standing or sitting in one position for too long and make sure to talk to your chiropractor at The Joint to get on the road to recovery.

If you want to know more about recovery and how to use cold and heat therapy appropriately, talk to the chiropractors at The Joint today!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Las Vegas, Nev.

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