The modern lifestyle puts everyone at risk of neck pain. We spend hours every day hunched over our desks or workstations that are often not set up in an ergonomic way. We sit in our chairs, very often with poor posture. Even in our leisure time we might spend hours peering at our phones of laptops and very rarely at home, when lounging on the sofa, do we consider our posture. The constant looking down we do puts pressure on our upper and neck vertebrae and causes inflammation in the neck and upper back muscles. There are various ways we can avoid neck pain.
1. Adopt Good Posture
The strain on neck muscles and ligaments caused by poor posture can result in inflammation which over time turns into a nagging pain. This is something recognized by many people because we are all familiar with the way our neck slants forward, positioning the head in front of the shoulders. Whenever you are sitting, use a chair that promotes good posture – preferably one that supports your head and provides lower back support. A good chair means your feet are flat on the floor with knees comfortably bent. If necessary, alter your work space, particularly if you use a computer. Make sure you don’t have to stretch to reach the keyboard and the monitor is at eye level.
2. Have a Good sleeping Position
When you sleep, your mattress should provide adequate support so that your spine is straight, and your neck is not bent into an unnatural angle. Experts recommended sleeping on your back because this allows the spine and the neck to rest comfortably. If you prefer to sleep on your side, make sure your pillow is at a comfortable height, not breaking that straight line of your spine through the body.
Recommendation: You may use correct type and size of neck braces to main a good sleeping position at night.
3. Do Exercises to Prevent Neck Pain
If you are already experiencing neck pain, exercising can provide relief, however there are also exercises to prevent the pain occurring. As reported by the Arthritis Council, an independent study in Finland concluded that strength training exercises were effective in reducing neck pain. 180 women of ages 25-53 who did office work and were experiencing chronic pain took part in the study. Three quarters of the women reported complete or considerable pain relief in the study period with the study concluding that exercises that strengthened the neck muscles had a long term beneficial effect.
- Side to side head rotation
- Side bending
- Chin tucks
- Neck rolls (also known as neck curls)
Hydration is important for so many of the body’s processes, not just for tackling thirst. One of the reasons to drink plenty of water is to continuously nourish and hydrate the vertebrae discs- the spongy structures that sit between the bones of the back and neck and which are mostly made of water.
5. Handle Heavy Objects Properly
The general assumption is that by not picking up heavy objects correctly, you can cause damage to your lower back. In fact, improper handling can cause problems anywhere along the spine and also in the neck. To avoid pulling muscles, slipping a disc or inflammation due to stress on muscles, bend from the knees when picking something up, not from the waist.
6. Distribute Carry Weight Evenly
This applies equally to men and women. Some women have incredibly heavy handbags (remember that old joke about everything but the kitchen sink …) Add to that the technology we all now port about and that is some weight we tote around all day. It is habitual to sling our bags over the same shoulder every day and this is an uneven load that puts your shoulders out of natural alignment, putting strain on the neck muscles. It is the same for men who carry a heavy briefcase in the same hand every day. The obvious is to lighten the load, taking only the essentials. Swap the load between shoulders and hands regularly. Try to keep your shoulders level at all times. An even better solution is to wear a backpack, evenly distributing the weight across both shoulders.
7. Reduce Tension and stress
Stress Might Be A Modern Disease But As Well As Causing Emotional Problems, It Can Lead To Physical Issues. A Common Symptom Of Stress Is Tense Muscles In The Neck And Shoulders. An Extended Period Of Tension Causes Inflammation And Ultimately, Neck Pain. It Is A Good Idea To Tackle The Physical And Emotional Symptoms Of Stress. It Is Obviously Preferable To Prevent Neck Pain By Avoiding Stress But That Isn’t Always Possible. Find Ways To Relax, To Alleviate Anxiety And Also To Relieve Pain In The Body. Exercising Is Great Relief For Stress. General Workouts And Cardio(Aerobic) Exercises Should Be Done On A Regular Basis To Gain All The Rewards Regular Exercising Can Bring. The Program Of Neck Pain Prevention Exercises Can Run Alongside Your Regular Body Workouts.