Neck pain can cause more than discomfort and annoyance for people who deal with it. Particularly the chronic cases, neck pain can interrupt a person’s ability to accomplish everyday tasks such as shampooing the hair or driving a car.
Whether you have temporary neck stiffness or chronic neck pain, this list of steps guarantees to help you avoid nagging neck pain easily.
1. Improve your technology habits
The terms “tech neck” or “text neck” did not go popular for no reason. One of the major contributors to neck and spinal issues in people today is poor technology habits. Looking down at your phone for long hours puts an immense amount of strain on your neck. The rest of the spine can shift due to the abnormal positioning of the cervical spine, and this can have long-lasting implications.
- The more you lean your head forward to look down, the greater the amount of force on your neck. On average, an adult head only weighs around 10 pounds. When you stare at your phone and position your head at a 45-degree angle, it can feel as if your head weighs 60 pounds!
- Tech neck also fosters frequent contraction of the muscles in the back of the neck. This affects the uprightness of the head.
- More importantly, it increases the risk of a herniated or bulging disc as it causes the disc to drift backward
Always put your devices or laptop at eye-level, and be sure to give your neck a break to avoid pain due to tech neck.
2. Change the way you sleep
We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping in bed to restore our energy, the National Sleep Foundation said. This makes our sleeping habits and bedtime routine critical when it comes to keeping our body’s health, particularly our neck and spine. If you browse on your phone before bedtime, stop this habit. It puts your neck into a forward bending position, which can strain your muscles and wear your spinal discs. Also, change your sleeping position if you’re a stomach sleeper as it forces your head to turn to one side throughout the night. This can cause neck pain and stiffness. Try back or side-sleeping.
3. Pick a better chair
You’re sitting posture is just as crucial in keeping neck pain at bay. People tend to slump forward in their chairs, especially if they have been sitting for long hours in the same position. If your job requires sitting all day, choose a chair with a high back and a headrest so you can sit upright in proper posture. A headrest helps in keeping your cervical spine in a neutral position with your head aligned over your neck. Whether you are sitting at your desk, in a recliner, or the car, placing the back of your head in the headrest can help you dodge neck pain.
4. Stay well hydrated
Drinking more water every day is one of the most essential measures to naturally care for your spine. The intervertebral discs, which give cushion and protect the spine, are consist of 80% water. As we age, the percentage drops causing degeneration of the discs and pain. In short, the intervertebral discs need water to stay healthy. So, carry a water bottle anywhere you go and drink enough water to stay sufficiently hydrated.
5. Try turmeric
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory supplement. Also referred to as curcumin, this plant-derived substance combat inflammation, a primary contributor to neck pain. It protects cells from oxidation and fights free radicals. Besides fight inflammation, turmeric also provides benefits for the heart and brain. When buying a good curcumin or turmeric supplement, choose the one with black pepper as it has active ingredient piperine. Piperine boosts the body’s absorption, offering a maximal benefit.
6. Take more magnesium
The body uses the mineral magnesium to help the nerves and muscles function. You can get magnesium through a balanced diet that includes nuts and many leafy greens. Your skin can also absorb it when you soak in an Epsom salt bath. Magnesium helps ease neck pain by permitting your bones to absorb more calcium and your cells to restore themselves. Low levels of magnesium can result in muscle cramping, headaches, numbness or tingling in the hands, nausea, and diarrhea.
7. Get an upper cervical chiropractic care
Upper cervical chiropractors are well-equipped with experience and expertise to get to the root cause of neck pains rather than pacify symptoms. Most of the time, the source of many neck problems is a misalignment of the atlas, the topmost vertebra in the neck. It supports the weight of the head.
Among the vertebrae of the spine, the atlas is the most delicate due to its mobility. It enables the movement of the head in all directions. As a result, it can misalign easily. Repetitive movements, wear and tear, and injuries can result in off-balance of the head. One this happens, these are the possible outcomes:
- Muscles of the neck can suffer from strain
- Spinal joints would have to endure abnormal stress
- Nerve irritation of the back
Even worse news, atlas misalignment can also lead to jaw pain, headaches, earaches, vertigo, and more undesirable conditions.
Upper cervical chiropractic care restores the normal atlas alignment with gentleness and precision. By doing so, the body can heal from neck pain naturally. Getting upper cervical chiropractic care also helps eliminate any conditions that have some connection with your neck pain. Search for an upper cervical chiropractor near your area and get the help you need.