Pain can be the result of many things. You may experience chronic pain or acute pain and you pain may range from mild to debilitating. If you have the occasional headache, you may simply take an over-the-counter pain medication, but if you have more severe or chronic pain, you may prefer to seek alternative options. You can use these simple tips to help find relief for neck, jaw and back pain.
Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve
The vagus nerve is vital to many parasympathetic nervous system functions, including digestion, heart rate, breathing and relaxation. It is a long nerve extending from the medulla, through the face and down into the abdomen, sending sensory feedback to the brain from a large area. Stimulating this nerve can help you relieve pain in your jaw, neck and upper back. You can go to a chiropractor or stimulate it yourself in a variety of ways, including vagus nerve massages, immersing your face in cool water and gargling water.
See a Chiropractor
Chiropractors are trained to realign the spine and joints to relieve pain, improve posture and help manage symptoms of musculoskeletal and nervous system conditions. One of the most common reasons for someone to see a chiropractor is to relieve neck, jaw and back pain. You may only need to see a chiropractor once or you may book appointments regularly. During your appointment, your chiropractor may massage and stretch muscles, adjust your spine and other joints or provide transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy.
Start Physical Therapy
Seeing a physical therapist can help you develop techniques to manage your pain and improve your quality of life at home. Physical therapists examine patients to determine the source and cause of pain. Then, they teach patients management plans based on your goals and your specific type of pain. For example, someone recovering from an injury or surgery may be taught exercises to strengthen the affected muscles and sinews and how to use hot and cold therapy. Patients seeking long-term relief for injuries and chronic pain typically try physical therapy.
Adjust Your Posture And Resting Positions
How you stand, sit and sleep can affect your back, neck and jaw. Slouching, bad posture and sleep positions that aren’t right for your body can cause pain, stiffness and joint misalignment. If you adjust your posture and resting positions, you can relieve pain and prevent this type of pain in the future. Make sure chairs, sofas and mattresses provide adequate support. Practices exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back, jaw, shoulders and neck. When you sleep, try to keep your body and head aligned. Sleep on your back or on your side with a pillow to keep your head aligned.
Practice Yoga And Gentle Stretching
Sometimes, pain is the result of stiff or shortened muscles. To relieve this type of pain, you should focus on stretching the affected areas of your body. For example, if you have shoulder and jaw pain, focus on lengthening and toning the muscles of your upper back, shoulder girdle, chest and neck. Yoga is an excellent method of incorporating stretching and toning into your daily routine.
Work To Minimize Stress in Your Life
Pain isn’t always entirely physical. If your doctor can’t find a cause for your pain or if you notice yourself clenching certain muscles and joints, such as the law, your pain may be caused by stress in your life. If you think stress is contributing to your pain, work on relaxing. You may want to speak to a therapist, but you can also work on minimizing stress at home by practicing breathing exercises and meditation or starting a calm, soothing hobby, such as knitting or painting.
You are the only person who can truly understand your pain, so you need to make final decisions regarding how to manage and relieve it. Talk to your doctor and other medical professionals about medical treatment, lifestyle adjustments and alternative, holistic or complementary care.