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Pain in the neck? Put your sauna to work!

Ouch!

There you are, working away. You look up from your computer or your phone and then a stabbing pain pierces you in the neck. Over time, it becomes a throbbing ache that just won’t go away. Over the counter pain medications, and massages only do so much.  Darn it, it hurts!

Take comfort in the knowledge that you aren’t alone. About 85 percent of people have chronic neck pain – and about 60 percent of us never seek any treatment, preferring to suffer silently. (OK. Maybe not so silently. But you get the idea.)

There are some things you can do to try to keep the problem from starting in the first place. Remembering to always sit up straight is perhaps the most important one. It’s also the one that sounds simplest, but in reality isn’t so easy to do. Give it a try, though. It really can help.

To achieve it, the next time you’re sitting at your desk make sure you’re sitting with proper posture. Using an ergonomically designed chair can help. You can also have your workspace evaluated by an ergonomics expert, who can assess the height of your computer screen and more.

Aside from that, one of the best remedies for a legitimate pain in the neck (we can’t help you with the metaphorical ones, I’m afraid), is alternately applying heat and cold. Sure, we suppose you could use a heat compress – but they tend to lose temperature quickly. Wouldn’t it be better to spend 20 or 30 relaxing minutes in your sauna, while the soothing, steady heat works its magic?

Once you’ve finished your sauna session, simply apply a cold compress to your aching neck for 10-15 minutes to complete your “treatment.”

As with any medical issue, if you don’t experience improvement, visit your healthcare provider. He or she will be able to give you a full examination, and offer other treatments to help you achieve pain relief.