Neck pain is a common musculoskeletal problem, with an annual prevalence rate exceeding 30% among adults in the United States. It has numerous causes but most cases of neck pain are not serious and usually improve with conservative treatments like hot and cold compresses and medications. Whether you have just woken up with a stiff neck or your neck pain Spring Valley is due to a chronic condition, the following tips can help you alleviate the pain.
Sleep on your back
Sleeping on your back allows your entire spine to rest comfortably and is often recommended for people with spinal pain. If you have neck pain, sleeping on your back, with a pillow under each arm, can help take the strain off your neck. If you prefer to sleep on your side, ensure your pillow is around four to six inches thick; this height should prevent your head from tilting unnaturally to either side.
Stretch and exercise your neck muscles
Like any other muscles in your body, your neck muscles are meant to move. Therefore do short sets of strengthening and stretching exercises throughout the day to build strength and flexibility. The chin tuck exercise is simple; it strengthens the muscles that align the head over the shoulders and stretches the scalene muscles.
Carry weight evenly
It is common for people to carry a heavy handbag or briefcase on one side of their body. However, the load on one side of your body causes your shoulder to become uneven and can strain your neck muscles. Try to lighten your load by carrying only what you need in your handbag or purse. Use a backpack instead of a briefcase; the former distributes weight evenly across both shoulders.
Maintain supportive posture
Bad posture causes added stress on your joints, ligaments, and discs in your neck, resulting in premature degenerative changes. The most common example of poor posture is the head-and-shoulders-forward posture; it occurs when you slant your neck forward, placing the head in front of your shoulders. This posture is common when looking down at your phone or any other device for a long period. Instead of slanting your neck forward, raise your phone to eye level. Other tips to avoid neck pain from texting include minimizing texting time, taking frequent breaks, and resting your hands on a pillow.
Another reason to drink plenty of water is to nourish and hydrate the intervertebral discs in your neck. These spongy structures are made up of mostly water, so staying hydrated keeps them strong and pliable. Ideally, drinking at least eight glasses of water each day is best. You can try different options until you find the one you are comfortable with. For example, drink two to three glasses of water with each meal or keep a water bottle and sip through the day. You can also set the alarm every two hours and chug a glass of water each time.
If you have persistent neck pain, schedule an appointment with your provider at Greenlight Chiropractic & Wellness Lab for treatment.