Neck pain is a common problem that can affect people of all ages. You may experience neck pain in Red Bank when your neck muscles get strained due to poor posture—for example, leaning over your computer or phone when texting. Sometimes neck pain can be caused by medical conditions such as osteoarthritis. Rarely, neck pain can signify a serious condition. Most neck pain improves with the use of over-the-counter medications and hot or cold compresses. However, you should seek medical attention if you have constant pain accompanied by a loss of strength in your arms and hands. Below are some of the tips to help you prevent neck pain and improve the existing condition.
Do Not Strain Your Neck Texting
Today, mobile devices are a necessity for everyone and especially for social media influencers. While phones have made communication easier, looking down at your device for long hours causes your neck to strain. Bending your neck for a long time causes extra stress on the ligaments, joints, and discs in your neck. Over time, the added stress results in premature degenerative changes, which can be a source of pain. Although you cannot stop using your mobile phone, you can minimize texting time and take frequent breaks when using your phone. Other tips to avoid neck damage include raising your smartphone to eye level and resting your hand and phone on a pillow.
Sleep in a Good Position
Sleeping on your back is the best position as it allows your entire spine to rest properly. If you have neck problems, you may elevate your arms using pillows as you lie on your back. Doing this may ease the pressure off your neck, giving you the needed comfort. Patients with medical conditions such as spinal stenosis may find comfort in sleeping at a slight incline. You can achieve this by using an adjustable bed or adding a foam wedge pillow to your bed. Some people prefer different positions, such as sleeping on the side. If that is your go-to option, ensure your pillow is of average thickness – at least 4-6 inches. A pillow that is too high may cause your head and neck to unnaturally bend to either side.
Evenly Distribute Weight
Most people make a common mistake of carrying heavy luggage on either side of their body. Extra weight on one side of the body makes your shoulders uneven and strains neck muscles. You can lighten your load by carrying necessities in your purse or briefcase. This will help keep your shoulders at the same level. Instead of using a briefcase, consider a backpack as it evenly distributes weight across your two shoulders.
Stretch Your Neck
Just like other muscles in your body, the neck muscles need to be strong and flexible. Short sets of strengthening exercises and stretching throughout the day will help you minimize and prevent neck pain. Activities such as the chin tuck exercise strengthen the muscles that align the head over the shoulders. It is also a good exercise to stretch the scalene and suboccipital muscles.
Your specialist may recommend treatment depending on the intensity of the pain. To learn more about the treatment methods for neck pain, consult your doctor at Downtown Pain Management.