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Pain In The Neck: Tips To Alleviate Symptoms

July 1, 2016

Did you know your neck is one of the most flexible segments of your spine? Even with its flexibility, however, neck pain affects 10% of the population annually! Pain can be either localized to the cervical spine {commonly known as your neck} or it may radiate down your arm, which is referred to as “radiculopathy”. Because the nerves in your neck run down into your arms, arm pain can sometimes be traced back to a complication in the neck.

There are many reasons people complain about the nuisance of ‘a pain in the neck’ but the most common causes of neck pain, shoulder pain, and even headaches can be attributed to prolonged sitting with poor posture. It is easy to fall into the habit of poor posture, especially when many of us sit at a desk for a good majority of the day.

The good news is often times neck pain can be managed and overcome in a matter of weeks. Although in more complicated cases it could be a symptom of osteoarthritis, herniated intervertebral discs, or even spinal stenosis. It is never a good idea to underestimate your neck pain. Proper diagnosis is the key to a speedy recovery!

BELOW ARE A FEW QUICK TIPS BASED ON BEST PRACTICES TO AVOID THAT NAGGING PAIN IN THE NECK:

1. Reading in Bed

Keep this basic rule in mind while reading in bed; keep your neck in a neutral position whenever possible, do not bend or lean your neck forward for long periods. Reading in bed, with several pillows propped behind you can cause neck strain, with your neck pushing forward and holding your arms out to support your book or tablet. To ease strain on your neck while reading in bed, consider purchasing a wedge shaped pillow to prop up your book and support your arms, helping to keep your spine in a neutral position. Finally, try not to stay in one position for too long!

2. Sleeping Position and Your Pillow

If your pillow causes your neck to be at an angle, either too high or too low; it might be time for a new pillow. The rule that applies to reading in bed also applies to your pillow; the goal is to keep your neck in a neutral position. Also, remember that pillows aren’t meant to last forever. Your pillow might not be your only source of neck pain, your mattress could be affect the alignment of your spine as well.

3. Proper Lifting

Another cause of neck pain is poor lifting techniques. Your low back is not the only area of the spine at risk when lifting heavy objects, click here to learn proper lifting techniques.

4. Work Place Ergonomics

  • Pay Attention to Posture
  • Adjust Your Chair Setup
  • Adjust Your Computer Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse
  • Avoid Prolonged Sitting (get up for 10 minutes for every hour you are sitting)

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