Experiencing upper neck pain can be quite bothersome, especially if it happens a lot. You may have difficulty turning around because of the limited motion that your head can do. It can also cause discomfort when you try to do some of your usual activities such as gardening, doing desk work, and even completing household chores.
So, how exactly can you rid yourself of neck pain? Where do you start? What is the most logical option out there?
Many argue that the number one thing that you’ll need to work on is your posture. Studies over the years also point to poor posture as the top cause of an achy neck. To help you figure out if the claims are valid, let’s check out why neck pain happens in the first place.
What causes an achy neck?
Basic anatomy classes tell us that the neck is a remarkable structure that holds the head up. Its design allows you to move your head in an extensive range of directions and angles. However, like every part of your body, it can also wear out. Its bones, ligaments, and muscles can take a huge toll if you over-exert your neck.
At the same time, having a poor body posture can exacerbate the issue. It pushes the rest of your body to compensate for the awkward position of your head, back, shoulders and hips. Here are some of the possible factors that can contribute to a bad body posture and upper neck pain:
- Slouching when you’re sitting or standing
- Leaning your body forward while you walk, stand, or sit
- Trying to lift a heavy item but fail to follow the correct position of the back, hips, and legs
- Having a poor posture when you sleep – this includes sleeping on your stomach
- Failing to place your computer or laptop monitor in the ideal position
- Sudden twisting or bending of your neck during exercise
- Placing the phone in between one shoulder and your neck
- Sitting for long hours in front of your desk
- Suffering from a neck misalignment years after an accident
- Slipping or bulging of the intervertebral discs
- Neck or spinal injuries such as fractures, sprains, and spinal stenosis
- Having acquired or congenital torticollis or uncontrollable muscle contractions
- Having an underlying condition like spine infection, cervical arthritis, spinal cancer, and fibromyalgia
Fixing posture to deal with neck pain
Body posture can say a lot about somebody. More importantly, it can heavily contribute to neck pains and other problems. Contrary to popular belief, maintaining proper posture doesn’t mean standing or walking stiffly. Instead, it means providing excellent support on crucial parts of the body like your back, calves, knees, and feet so you can move them with great ease.
Here are some of the critical tips you can follow to improve your body posture:
Walk up straight
Stand tall while minding the alignment of your ears and shoulders. Also, keep your chin parallel to the ground and your shoulders relaxed as you walk.
Invest in a posture corrector
This may come in handy in providing support to your back while you sit or walk.
Use your calves for balance
By doing so, you can feel more at ease while you take each step. It also helps you ease tension on your neck and back, and you find it easier to keep an upright alignment of your body.
Try doing yoga or Pilates
Both exercises come in extra handy in strengthening the core muscles, a crucial part of the body that provides ample support to your back and spine.
Lift heavy items properly
You can do this by lifting using your hips and not your back. This minimizes the possibility of getting injured.
Maintain an active lifestyle
Getting enough exercise each day helps improve your muscles, bones, and ligaments. It also prevents injuries. If you have to sit for long hours because of work, make sure to allocate at least five minutes each hour to stretch and walking around.
Create an ergonomic workspace
If you spend long hours working, it’s ideal to invest in the right ergonomic work furniture. This will help you ensure that you feel comfortable throughout your workday.
Other worth-it neck pain remedies you can try
Besides working on your body posture, it’s also helpful to try natural remedies for neck pain. Some examples of the options you can try include the following:
Apply ice pack
During the first few days, you experience the pain. It would help if you tried using a cold compress on the painful or sore area. This will help reduce inflammation.
Use a hot compress to hasten the healing process
Once you notice less muscle soreness, you can begin using heat to promote faster healing. Essentially, by applying heat, you encourage blood flow, which helps bring in nutrients needed to repair damaged tissues.
Massage the affected parts of your neck
Gentle massages along the neck and shoulders help ease muscle stiffness and pain.
Make sure to get enough rest
Allow your body to heal by avoiding strenuous activities like lifting a heavy load.
Invest in a comfortable bed and pillows
See to it that your chosen mattress and pillows can provide you with enough support when you lie down.
Fixing your spine alignment to ease upper neck pain
Neck pain can be extremely frustrating. Moreover, it can persist for a long time if you don’t find ways to address it as soon as possible. That’s why besides practicing the tips and remedies, it’s a must to find a way to fix the real cause of your pain. A good option you can try is getting upper cervical adjustments.
This specific procedure aims to resolve one of the likely causes of chronic neck pain – a misaligned spine. If you had a neck injury months or years before, you might have misaligned upper cervical bones. This could be putting undue pressure on the neck, spine, and the rest of your body.
Feel free to contact an upper cervical chiropractic practitioner today to learn more about this neck pain relief option. Contact a local upper cervical chiropractor to help with your upper neck pain today!