Neck pain is awful -- you never really appreciate how much turning your head means in your life until you can't do it easily, right? Getting treatment for neck pain is essential, but while you're still waiting for the treatments to do their thing, you can take some DIY steps to make the pain a little better.


Acupressure is like acupunture, but using your fingertips, tennis balls, pencil erasers, and other dull-but-focused-point items to hit specific pressure points. It can be done by a professional, but you can perform acupressure yourself once you've been taught the right points. Points have names and often come in pairs; for example, GB20 refers to either of two matching points at the base of the skull where it meets the neck. These points are supposed to be very good for relieving problems like a stiff neck. You can find DIY instruction manuals for using these and other points to help soothe neck pain while you undergo other treatment.

Stress Elimination

Got stress in your life? Chances are that you have some muscle tension going on, too, possibly in your neck and shoulder muscles. That doesn't mean that the muscle tension is the cause of your neck pain, but it's not going to help you feel better. It can make the pain you have feel worse, too.

As annoying as it may seem, one of the more effective ways to deal with this is to deal with the stressful situation head on. Remember the saying TLC: take it, leave it, or change it. Author Marsha Petrie Sue uses this saying to address dealing with difficult work situations, but you can apply it to anything that is causing you stress. By choosing one of these options and acting on it (if you choose "take it," the action is releasing your resistance to it happening), even if you can't end the stressful situation entirely, you can lessen the stress by knowing that you've done what you can. And sometimes that one little choice can lead to a series of events that eliminates the stress for good.

Posture Adjustment

Another DIY method to help alleviate neck pain while you undergo treatment is to look at your posture. Slouching and bad posture when looking at computers, smartphones, books, and really, anything else can stress your neck and shoulder muscles. Improving your posture and getting support for your back when you sit, for example, can relieve a lot of incidental pain that might be hampering your treatment.

Talk to a pain specialist about using these therapies in conjunction with your regular neck pain treatment. Keep your doctor updated regarding your progress so he or she can adjust your treatments as needed.

For more information, contact Isaacson Wayne MD or a similar medical professional.