Many of us have experienced a stiff neck before. It’s a common condition and is often caused by some sort of strain to the muscles or ligaments around the cervical spine. Whether we sleep the wrong way or have poor posture, it’s not too difficult to cause some sort of strain to the neck.
Many instances of neck pain are acute - meaning the pain only lasts a few hours to a few weeks. However, some people suffer from chronic neck pain (i.e. pain that lasts for months or years at a time). In fact, approximately, 15% of American adults suffering from chronic pain reported neck pain as a cause of their pain. Chronic neck pain can be the result of an underlying medical condition - such as arthritis or degeneration of the spinal discs. Whether the pain is acute or chronic, we’ll go over some tips to ease your neck pain. If you do suffer from chronic neck pain, consider visiting a Las Vegas pain management doctor for help.
Don’t Look Down at Your Phone
In today’s era of smartphones and tablets, we tend to hunch over these devices. We keep our phones or tablets near our laps and bend our necks down to look at them while we text or surf the internet. Doing this repeatedly everyday adds stress and strain to the neck. Try raising your phone up to eye level and taking breaks from these devices.
Along with looking down at your phone, talking on your phone for long periods of time can stress your neck as well. Many of us tilt our heads to the side when talking on the phone. If you talk on the phone a lot for you job, consider using a headset instead.
Stretching and Yoga
Over time, bad posture and weakened muscles can make the head sag forward. This places stress on the neck and can cause pain. Stretching and yoga not only help keep your neck flexible but they also strengthen these neck muscles to help with posture and alignment. Some neck exercises, like the chin tuck, help align the neck, shoulders and head. This helps encourage good posture and can lead to less pain.
Maintain Good Posture
Many of us work at a desk for our jobs. Sitting for long periods of time can cause you to slouch. In order to avoid slouching, find a chair with good back support. Also, position your computer screen at eye level. This will help you keep a neutral position with your head and avoid looking down or up.
Don’t Forget About Good Sleep Posture
Your sleeping position and pillow can affect your neck. Usually, you want to use a pillow that keeps your neck in neutral alignment - where the curve of your cervical spine is supported and maintained by the pillow.
Additionally, it’s important to determine which sleeping position causes you the least amount of pain. Some people find relief laying on their sides while others find relief on their backs. Usually, sleeping on your back is a great way to reduce both neck and back pain, because sleeping on your back helps your entire spine relax. If you do sleep on your side, try to find a pillow that isn’t too high.
Avoid Carrying a Heavy Purse or Bag on One Side of the Body
It can be tempting to carry that purse or backpack on one shoulder. However, it is important to evenly distribute the weight, because carrying weight on only one side of the body puts strain on the neck and back. Along with distributing the weight evenly, also consider reducing the amount you carry. Get rid of any non-essential items from your purse or backpack.
Find a Pain Management Doctor
If you suffer from chronic neck pain, it may be time to consider visiting a pain management doctor. Pain doctors specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of chronic pain. Apex Medical Center is home to the most trusted Las Vegas pain management doctors. Contact us today for more information or to book an appointment.
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