Neck pain relief
With so many of us looking at computers or staring most of the day at our smartphones, it’s no wonder data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in the past three months, nearly 20 percent of us have experienced neck pain.
Typically, a stiff neck is the consequence of muscles weakening from poor posture or misuse over time. These habits can also cause other issues like .
Looking down all day at your computer monitor can cause the muscles around the joints of the neck to tire and become overstretched. The same effect can be had by driving for long periods of looking at your smartphone. It can add up and can displace your neck joints if you’re doing this day after day. Follow these to alleviate your neck pain:
Stretching can keep pain at bay.
It can help you avoid neck pain by putting your monitor at eye level, sitting up straight, and avoiding tilting and twisting your head down or to the side while you’re on the computer. Be sure to take frequent breaks when you’re driving or looking at your smartphone and avoid having your neck bent forward for long periods.
Proper stretching and manipulation are the keys to relieving a stiff neck. Here are several stretches that can be attempted at your desk or in the car that can help you prevent a sore neck:
- Roll the shoulders backward and ten times downwards.
- Squeeze ten times with the shoulder blades together.
- Push the head back into your hands and keep for 30 seconds.
- On either side, bring your ear ten times to your shoulder.
When you sleep, take care.
If you are disturbed by your neck, you should pay attention to your sleeping positions as well. Sleep only on your hand or on your back, never on your belly.
When you sleep on your stomach, you will often end up twisting your head for hours at a time, one way or the other. Sleeping on your stomach can also affect your lower back because if you don’t have enough support, your belly sinks into the bed.
Try these simple treatments for mild, regular causes of neck pain:
- To the sore area, add heat or ice. For the first 48 to 72 hours, use ice, and only use heat after that. With warm baths, hot compresses, or a heating pad, heat can be added. To prevent skin injury, be sure not to fall asleep with a heating pad or ice bag in place.
- Take pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen over-the-counter.
- Keep going, but stop painful or jerking acts. It helps to relieve the symptoms and decrease inflammation.
- Up and down, side to side, and from ear to ear, perform slow range-of-motion exercises. This helps to stretch the muscles of the neck gently.
- Get the sore or painful places gently massaged by a partner.
- Try sleeping without a pillow or with a unique neck pillow on a firm mattress.
- To minimize pain, ask your health care provider about using a soft neck collar. For a long time, don’t use your collar. Doing so will make the muscles in your neck weaker.