Millions of Americans visit their medical doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, or physical therapist each year seeking relief from neck pain, aches, and stiffness. Like any other aliment, in most cases prevention could go a long way saving you from neck pain and discomfort. Here are 10 ways to prevent and perhaps find relief from neck pain, aches, and stiffness.
- Keep your neck in a neutral position, if possible. That means you need to avoid bending or flexing your neck and keep it in the middle of your body while working on a laptop or computer, reading, watching TV, or sleeping.
Your reading material, TV, or computer need to be at eye level. So if you are working on your PC set the monitor in such a way that it is squarely in front of you and not to the side. The same applies to the position of your TV. Also when you read, use a bookstand or a couple of phone books to raise your reading material to the eye level.
- If you are used to read in bed the first advice is to stop doing that, but if you have to, then place a bulky pillow or two under your elbows to raise your reading material higher to eye level. This simple trick prevents you from bending your head down which could cause neck pain eventually.
- Do not sleep on your stomach even if that’s a habit for you. The habits could be changed but you just need to work on it. So sleep on your side or back which are much more friendly positions for your neck.
- Use a good supportive pillow which keeps your neck in a neutral position while you are sleeping. Again that means your head needs to be in the middle of your body where it is not tilted down or up while sleeping.
If you wake up with more stiffness in the morning than the night before, then the chances are there is something wrong with your pillow.
- Use good ergonomics when working at a desk, specifically if that’s how you spend most of your working or leisure time. Good ergonomics encompass the type of chair you sit on, the way you sit on your chair, and the position of your working material in relation to your body. Do a google search for “workstation ergonomics” to find out the details on proper ergonomics.
- Take frequent breaks, few minutes every half hour or forty five minutes of work, from sitting at a desk.
- Stretch your neck regularly. You may use the stretches and exercises available on our website.
- Mild to moderate heat could sooth tight muscles, but too much heat or too frequent use of heat could inflame the muscles and worsen the condition. Ice pack could be helpful when pain is experienced. Use caution so you do not burn yourself or give yourself a frost bite.
- Maintain a good posture. An abnormal postural, commonly seen in the upper back and neck regions, could very much cause stresses on the neck. Check our previous blog on posture dated 08/23/2011
- If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, sharp or shooting pain, or pain and stiffness which simply do not go away see your medical or chiropractic doctor. These symptoms commonly point out to more serious problems that need to be addressed by a health professional.
Chiropractors are experts in treating neck related conditions please contact our office if you have any questions.