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Here's How to Handle a Real Pain in the Neck

Common falls or weekend sports injury can lead to months or years of aggravation.

A slip by the swimming pool, a wrong swing of a golf club or whiplash during a car crash can leave you with a real pain in your neck and arm.  These and other common accidents irritate or interrupt the normal nerve flow from the neck into the shoulder, arm and/or hand. 

Sometimes the pain is sudden, sometimes it is delayed; sometimes it is constant, and sometimes it is intermittent.  Sometimes, the discomfort is better described as a tingling or a numbness.

Here are some things you can do at home until you can see your chiropractor or wellness practitioner for an exam and X-rays:

  1. Apply ice to the side of the neck where the nerves, neck joints and supporting tissue are hurting.
  2. Place a fabric softener sheet between you and the ice so you don’t get frostbite!
  3. Apply the ice 30 minutes on, then 30 minutes off. 
  4. Do not use heat! You’re reducing inflammation, swelling and elevation of temperature, so ice is the proper method for treatment.
  5. Limit looking up or lifting the arms above shoulder level. 
  6. If you’re using a computer, be sure it is ergonomically correct so that the top of the screen is at eye brow level.
  7. If you’re driving, use your mirrors to help you limit how much you’re turning your head.
  8. Consider wearing a cervical collar to help reduce head motion.

Millions of people suffer from some sort of neck/arm pain.  Your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of the pain and prescribe the proper course of treatment.  These home remedies will help you stay comfortable until you can be seen.

Dr. William LaTorre has been a chiropractor for 40 years.  The LaTorre Wellness Center is located at 2150 49th St. N, St. Petersburg.

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