The things we do every day are often at the root of neck pain. We are going to look at some things that you can start doing right now to reduce the amount of neck pain that you experience. We will also consider several things to stop doing that could be underlying factors in chronic neck problems. Be sure to read to the end of the article to learn about a natural way to long-term relief of neck issues. Here are the do’s and don’ts of battling stubborn neck pain.
DO Sleep on Your Back or Side
Sleeping on your stomach can lead to waking up in the morning with a crick in your neck. It makes sense. You can’t breathe face down on a pillow, so you end up with your head turned to the side all night. Eight hours of that is enough to give anyone a stiff neck. Sleeping on your back or side allows you the possibility of maintaining a natural neck posture throughout the night.
DON’T Overload Your Shoulder Bag
Putting a heavy load on one shoulder can throw off the balance of the shoulders and spine. That can lead to strains in the neck. If you must carry a shoulder bag, use a crossbody bag, carry it as high as possible, and don’t overload it. If you have to carry more weight, get a backpack with a chest or waist strap to distribute the weight evenly.
DO Use Proper Posture in the Office
Be careful not to hunch your shoulders or adopt a forward head position while working at a desk. One way to avoid this is to keep monitors at eye level. You will also want an ergonomic chair with lumbar support and a headrest. An additional consideration is to use speakerphone or a headset to avoid holding a phone between your shoulder and ear. You should also regularly schedule times throughout the day to get up and move around a little. Make sure neck stretches are part of that routine.
DON’T Let Yourself Get Dehydrated
Hydration is vital for your neck and the surrounding soft tissue. In fact, the spongy discs located between the vertebrae that keep them from rubbing together are mostly water. Therefore, you need to stay adequately hydrated to keep those discs healing correctly and doing their job. If the discs wear prematurely, it can lead to arthritis in the neck. Also, if a disc bulges or ruptures, that can cause pain and other symptoms.
DO Take Breaks from Your Smartphone Throughout the Day
The Washington Post reported on the significant damage that may occur when a person is continually looking down at a smartphone. While the head only weighs about 10-12 pounds, looking down at a 15-degree angle can create 27 pounds of pressure on the neck. Even worse, looking down at a 60-degree angle to see a smartphone held at waist level can add 60 pounds of force to the spine.
To combat the habit of checking your smartphone over and over throughout the day, you may need to implement technology-free times, such as during meals. Also, set a time for certain activities. For example, you may want to select one or two time periods during the day to check social media, rather than reaching for the phone every time you get the urge to see what everyone else is up to. You may find that more than just your neck health improves.
DON’T Use the Wrong Pillow
We’ve already discussed the importance of sleep position, but your choice in pillow can make a big difference as well. The idea is to maintain the natural curve of your neck while sleeping. When you are lying on your back, that means a softer pillow that will allow you to sink in a little. If you are a side sleeper, you need to have a firm enough cushion to allow room for your shoulder. Of course, in both cases, you want to be sure that your pillows are not propping your head up too far from the bed.
DO Give Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic a Try
We promised to conclude the article with a natural way to find long-term relief from neck pain. It may be just what you have been searching for in order to end chronic neck problems for good. This is especially true if you have a history of head or neck trauma.
Take the example of a 44-year-old woman with neck pain, headaches, and other symptoms following a whiplash-type injury. Following chiropractic intervention, she experienced a significant improvement in both her neck pain and headaches. She also saw the frequency and duration of other post-injury symptoms reduce.
If you are dealing with neck pain, in particular, then an upper cervical chiropractor may be best for you. We focus on the top two bones in the neck, the C1 and C2 vertebrae. By means of x-rays, precision measurements accurately pinpoint even the tiniest of misalignments. These precise measurements also allow for gentle adjustments that are unlike anything else you may associate with chiropractic care.
To learn more, schedule a consultation or examination with a practitioner in your area. You can use the search feature on this website to locate a preferred practitioner in your area. Neck pain can be tricky to deal with. We hope that this article has provided you with some ways to combat neck pain naturally.