If you deal with ongoing neck pain, there are two basic types of treatment options to explore. There's pharmaceutical therapy, which involves taking various medications to ease your pain internally. Then, there's mechanical therapy which involves physical treatments to ease the pain. Chiropractic care and massage therapy fall into the category of mechanical therapies. They are both very helpful for managing neck pain and can be the cornerstone to your treatment regimen. However, you can also do various forms of mechanical treatment at home. Here are some specific treatments to explore.
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. You perform this therapy with a special device called a TENS device. To use the TENS device, you place the pads on the sore areas. In the case of your neck, you would place them on either side of your spine. The TENS device then delivers electric waves through the muscles in your neck. This activates certain nerves and puts an end to the pain signals they've been sending out. TENS may feel a little uncomfortable as it will cause your muscles to contract and shake a little, but it won't be painful. You can do it daily or even twice a day if needed.
Neck pain is debilitating, but the nice thing is that most people can reach their neck to massage it on their own. This is called self-massage. It won't be quite as effective as a massage done by a professional massage therapist, but it can give you some relief. Start close to the spine, using your fingers to make circular motions. Those circular motions should initially be large and low-pressure. As you continue massaging, make the circles smaller and start applying more pressure to the specific area that hurts. Do the same thing on the other side.
Placing ice on your sore neck could not be easier. It's very helpful for reducing swelling, and reducing swelling typically leads to a reduction in pain. Wrap an ice pack in a towel or cloth, and hold it against the painful part of your neck. Just relax for about 20 minutes while the ice does its job. You can repeat this process every four to six hours.
With the three mechanical treatments described above, you can ease neck pain at home. Note that these treatments are not meant to be a replacement for real medical care, but instead a supplement to it.