Besides the coronavirus situation, thousands of people working from their homes also worry about having a bad posture and its effects, such as persistent upper neck pain. For some people, the pain gets so bad that it drastically affects one’s ability to complete work, personal errands, and other tasks. Others also complain of neck pain that triggers additional problems like headaches and vertigo episodes.
As the remote work setup becomes the new normal, learning how to maintain an excellent posture becomes even more critical. Otherwise, you might have to deal with recurring neck pain every month. Read on to learn about upper neck pain, its connection to your body posture, and how you can manage it better.
A short review of the neck anatomy
The neck is a fascinating bone structure as it features a highly versatile design, allowing your head to enjoy a maximum range of motion. It also houses one of the most critical parts of your central nervous system – the brainstem. Essentially, your brainstem serves as the information superhighway of the nervous system as it connects the spinal cord to your brain. It regulates involuntary activities of the body, such as pain perception and digestion.
Unfortunately, the slightest pressure on the neck can alter its structure and force your body to compensate. When the neck overextends during an accident or if you expose it to repetitive mechanical pressure, such as when you slouch while sitting, you may have an atlas subluxation. Consequently, this can lead to upper neck pain that can last for a few hours to days.
If not corrected, your lousy posture can aggravate the neck pain and start affecting more of your neck’s nerve bundles, connective tissues, and muscles. It can also exacerbate pre-existing conditions like migraines, herniated disc, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, or spinal cancer.
Correcting your body posture for neck pain relief
Bad posture can come in many forms, including slouching, lordosis (swayback), or holding your cellphone between your neck and shoulder. Unfortunately, such practices are challenging to avoid, especially if you have to spend prolonged hours sitting on the desk or juggle your tasks such as typing and answering phones.
If this scenario sounds quite like yours, it’s high time for you to start correcting the problem. Here are some tips in addressing posture concerns for WFM employees and multi-tasking individuals:
- Try using a kinetic tape for better muscle support
- Switch to better a better working desk and chair
- Use the loudspeaker option or invest in a good pair of Bluetooth earphones
- Switch things up once in a while by using a standing work desk
- Dedicate a few minutes for a walking break or gentle stretches
- Avoid working on your sofa or bed by creating a specific workspace in the room
- If you can’t avoid working on the couch, use a firm pillow to support your back
Additional self-care tips for chronic neck pain
If you frequently suffer from upper neck pain, you need to familiarize yourself with simple home remedies like using an ice pack or doing slow neck stretches. Here’s a quick list of techniques you can try:
Use ice for inflammation
Sore muscles respond well to ice therapy. It helps alleviate the pain by reducing your neck muscle inflammation. It also comes in handy in relaxing your nerves. To effectively minimize neck pain’s impact, you should apply a cold compress for the first 2 to 5 days.
Apply heat for faster healing
While a cold compress does great in addressing soreness or inflammation, heat can help promote faster muscle recovery. Try applying a hot compress or enjoying a hot bath after the swelling goes down.
Try slow and low-impact neck stretches
Each day, aim to gradually and slowly bend your neck upwards, downwards, or sideways. Doing so may help release muscle tension and improve your neck’s condition.
Switch to a better mattress and pillow
Sometimes, poor posture during sleep can also trigger chronic pain. Your bed or pillow should be able to provide your spine with enough support while you lay down. Opt for firmer options if you can because ultra-soft cushions or mattresses can mess up your neck and spine alignment.
Avoid overexerting yourself
Surely enough, maintaining a sedentary lifestyle can severely impact your neck and overall health. However, that doesn’t mean that doubling your workout efforts can help you eliminate your symptoms. Aim to use mild exercises to boost your vitality. You can do the routine at least a couple of times each week until your neck fully recovers.
Getting to the bottom of your upper neck pain
Besides working on your WFH practices and applying the self-care tips listed above, you can also correct the problem with upper cervical chiropractic. If you suffer from upper neck pain frequently or if usual home remedies no longer work, you likely have bone misalignment problems. The best way for you to address that is by receiving upper cervical chiropractic adjustments.
Essentially, an upper cervical care chiropractor provides customized adjustments based on the specific conditions of your neck bones. It could take several sessions before you can fully restore your spinal and neck bone alignment.
But, that doesn’t mean that you need to wait long before you notice massive improvements. Several case studies show the first few sessions can provide pain relief and boost your body’s ability to heal independently. It’s a promising approach you can use in conjunction with the posture tips listed above so you can enjoy a pain-free work-from-home setup.
Experience life-changing relief from upper neck pain with the help of an upper cervical doctor. Locate an upper cervical chiropractic practice near you to inquire or schedule your appointment.