Preventing neck pain can be frustrating, and it can interfere with your day-to-day life. In most cases, it may disturb your good night sleep and affect your abilities to be productive. According to the study, over 12% of men and 17% of women suffer from some neck stiffness and pain. With the rise of mobile and computer usage, the number of sufferers is still increasing as it forces people to crane their neck awkwardly. Nowadays, looking down at your mobile screen, laptop, or other services is one of the most common causes of neck pain. In this case, your neck is exposed to awkward angles which leads to muscle strain and soft tissue damage.
Here is the list of some of the significant causes of neck pain.
- Repetitive neck motion
- Clenched jaw
- Poor posture
- Spinal injury
- Neck injury
In this article, our pain experts will take you through 10 tips to prevent neck pain and stiffness.
Reduce Your Stress And Tension
Neck pain can be the result of tense muscles in the neck and shoulder. If your job asks you to sit on a chair for a long time, find some practical ways to release some stress. You can try talking to a friend, journaling, going on a walk, etc. You have to try one of these ways when the pressure starts to build.
Stand And Sit Properly
When you spend more time hunched over, you are more prone to neck pain. Poor postures (sleeping, sitting, standing) can lead to neck pain within no time. Remember what you teachers, parents used to say about good postures? Yes, they were right! Watch how you sit, sleep and stand every day and make sure you are not hunched over.
While sleeping, try to keep the spine in its natural alignment. While some like to use small or flat pillows while sleeping on the back, some prefer large pillows while sleeping on the side to maintain the head position between shoulders. However, sleeping on the back is the best and most effective way to keep the spine in its natural alignment. When you sleep on the stomach, it puts the most stress on your cervical spine. If you find sleeping on your back difficult, you can try a reclining position. All you have to do is to adjust your bed a bit. You can also try side sleeping to keep the spine aligned.
Exercise Body And Neck Daily
30 minutes cardio is ideal for keeping yourself fit. When it is about neck pain, daily exercise is beneficial. You can try aerobic exercise 5 days a week. Short sets of strengthening and stretching exercises regularly can help you keep your neck healthy and flexible. Have you heard about the chin tuck? It is one of the best neck exercises. You can try that daily to avoid neck pain. It helps you strengthen and stretch your neck and upper back muscles and attain a better posture.
Achieve And Maintain The Right Weight
This is one of the essential tips to be healthy and happy throughout life. Your spine carries the weight of your body, and thus, neck and back are closely related to body weight. When you achieve a healthy weight, you indirectly take good care of your spine and prevent it from overstraining.
This is yet another life tip for all. Smoking not only damages your lungs but also damages bones and muscles in your cervical spine. It weakens the bones in your neck. Thus, quitting it as soon as possible is the best deal.
Eat Healthy Food
Healthy food is the secret to healthy living. When you eat correctly (nutritious food), it helps you attain the ideal weight. As mentioned earlier, the right weight means no stress on the spine. The food rich in all the minerals strengthens your bones and muscles.
Lift Heavy Materials With Caution
When you lift something heavy, there is a great chance of injury. Thus, it is vital to act in such situations with proper safety. Nobody wants to injure their neck or any other part of the body due to the lack of care and attention while lifting something. Whenever you carry any weight, you have to carry that evenly to avoid stress on your body. For example, if you are using a backpack, you have to carry it on both the shoulders and not the only one. There are some instances when you have to carry items that cannot be lifted evenly, such as a briefcase, large purse, etc. In such cases, try to carry only the essential things.
Wear Proper Sports Gear or Equipment
Sports activities involve too much pressure on your neck and other body parts. Therefore, our experts recommend wearing the right equipment while in action. Games like football, ice hockey, baseball can injure your neck very quickly if you are not equipped with the right gear.
Drink The Right Amount Of Water
You must stay hydrated to keep your body at its best. The intervertebral discs in your body are mostly made of water, and they function as spongy cushions between vertebrae. Set reminders on your phone to drink a glass of water every hour and aim to sip a water bottle throughout the day.
Set Your Computer Monitor On The Eye Level
You must adjust your monitor height in order to avoid strain on your neck. Ideally, when you look ahead towards your computer screen, your gaze should be directly on the screen. If you have to tilt your head too far up or down, you are stressing your neck muscles. Most of the laptop users look down to adjust with the screen. We recommend connecting a separate monitor or giving your laptop a bit of boost to avoid neck pain.
Also, you can consider using headphones. A neck can be excruciating if you bend your head regularly to one side. With hands-free headsets, you can maintain the right neck postures and avoid pain.