In the old days, a person would often refer to another person whom they didn’t care for as “a real pain the neck.” Today, though, the phrase is more likely to be used by people who spend way too much time with their neck stuck in one position, looking at a computer screen or smartphone screen for hours on end.
What can be done to prevent neck pain? Typically the pain is caused by muscle strains and spasms. Before you have to make an appointment with Lakewoods Chiropractic, there are some things you can do to get your neck in good shape.
First, when’s the last time you changed the pillow you sleep on at night? You spend a lot of time in bed, and it’s important that your neck is comfortable and supported while sleeping. How about trying a new pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck? Do some research and you’re likely to find certain pillows are made with “preventing neck pain” in mind.
Have you tried sleeping on your back? It’s the ideal position in order for your spine to rest properly. You can also try sleeping with a slight incline. Many people use foam wedge pillows for this purpose or they even go so far as to buy and use an adjustable bed. Whatever position you choose to sleep, make sure you’re comfortable. If you’re not, then you’re likely to develop neck pain as well as other problems.
Besides time in bed, most people spend the majority of their hours everyday looking at screens. This can strain your neck. We often look up or down at various screens. Ideally, though, if you use a computer monitor, for example, make sure it’s at eye level. If you are currently reading this on a screen in front of you and you’re looking downward rather than gazing directly into the middle of your screen, make an adjustment for the benefit of your neck. When possible, if you’re using a smartphone, do your best to raise it to eye level so you’re not always looking downward. Minimize your texting time, if possible, and take breaks away from your screen(s) at least every 15 to 20 minutes so your neck isn’t “stuck” in one position too long.
Simply exercising and stretching your neck several times daily can help prevent neck pain. Try “tucking your chin down” as well as turning your head side-to-side. Loosen up the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Furthermore, stay hydrated. Have a water bottle with you and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water is very good for your discs, which are spongy structures between the vertebrae in your neck.
If and when your neck pain gets “out of control” to the point where it won’t go away and you hurt, consider making an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic for help. Call 651-464-0800.