Did you feel a twinge? Slept the wrong way? There is no time to waste on pain. Read about these 10 Nurturing Tips For Dealing With Neck Pain!
So, you woke up from your sleep and feel some pain in your neck? This can be very frustrating as we rely on our neck more than we realize. So just looking in one direction or the other, or moving your head the way you always do causes a sharp pain.
In fact, a stiff neck can make it hard to get sleep, workout, do your job, or just about anything you want to do. Part of the problem may be that in our technological society, we tend to sit in chairs longer than we should, or stare at our phone screens in a position that weakens or strains the neck.
This also may be the most common form of neck strain, and its only becoming more prevalent. More reasons you may have problems with your neck can be from daily stress, repetitive motions using the neck, slumped posture, an injury to the neck, and more.
How Can I Prevent Further Neck Pain?
1. Drink Water To Prevent Neck Pain
Our cervical disks require water in the soft tissue between them in order to maintain proper alignment and relieve pressure. Make sure to drink water when you wake up, and continue to do so throughout the day.
2. Unglue Your Eyes From The Smartphone
This might be one of the tougher tips to follow. But it’s important to do so you can give your neck a break. The strain comes from looking down at your phone while its at waist level.
You end up looking down for long periods of time, which puts the full weight of your head against the muscles of your neck.
Imagine holding a bowling ball in your hand, with your arm stretched out, but for 15, 20, or 30 minutes. It will become nearly impossible to do. It’s not exactly the same, but the principle is similar. Your head is looking down, and bent forward.
Therefore, all of the weight of your head is now putting pressure on the neck muscles, and you’re too engrossed in the phone to realize the damage its doing. Hold you phone at eye level when you can, and stretch your neck to relax the muscles every once in awhile.
3. Take Time Away From Your Desk
You’ve got a 9-5 or even an at home job, but what do they typically have in common? That’s right, sitting at a desk, typing, or surfing the web.
- Make sure to get up from your desk every hour or so to stretch
- Set reminders to tell you when you should check to see if you are slouching, or sitting improperly.
- Readjust your chair to make sure your back is in a good position.
4. Optimize Your Sleep
First make sure that your pillow is providing enough support to your neck.
Because cheap pillows will not allow your neck to sit in a position of rest without straining the muscles, and you need something that relieves the pressure from the weight of that big brain.
Second, make sure to try sleeping on your side, or your back at night. Sleeping on your stomach will cause more strain to your neck than other positions. A good neck pillow may be needed as well. Also do some research on getting a firmer mattress.
5. Workout On A Regular Basis
A big part of the problem is neglecting your body. If you don’t exercise, you will develop problems with your posture, and eventually the shoulders, back, and neck will all be misaligned.
This is a recipe for disaster, because the muscles are being unnaturally positioned, and doing even normal tasks will eventually lead to an injury. Try doing some resistance training a few times a week to build back your posture, and save yourself from avoidable neck problems.
How Can I Stop The Neck Pain I Already Have?
1. Ice Your Neck Pain Away
Get an ice pack and wrap in it a towel. Then apply to the inflamed area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day to calm down the irritation surrounding the nerves. After the first few days, you can go ahead and alternate between ice and heat.
2. Take An NSAID / Pain Reliever
Ibuprofen can work wonders for inflammation. It will help stop swelling, and pain in the neck, which will make it easier for your neck muscles to relax. Other good options include naproxen and acetaminophen.
3. Learn Some Good Stretches For Neck Pain
You should take the time to feel where the tension originates from in your neck and begin to slowly tilt your head to the opposite side until your ear touches your shoulder, and feel the muscles which are knotted up. If you can gently continue to apply pressure without serious pain, then keep going.
Next, try rotating your neck from side to side, and also roll your shoulders so that the surrounding muscles in your neck can stretch out. DO NOT stretch your neck if you feel sharp pains.
4. Visit A Physical Therapist
If the problem doesn’t get better soon, it’s recommended you see a professional. A physical therapist can help identify exercises to help you strengthen up the weak areas of your neck, and identify sources of the pain.
5. Visit A Chiropractor
The chiropractor may be able to notice any misalignment in your spine from poor posture, and help your readjust. This process may be painful, but could help you get things back to normal.
Why You Should See A Doctor
Do not take neck pain lightly. It can lead to some debilitating pain, and serious disabilities if not treated properly.
You should see a physician if you have any type of neck injury from a car accident, or feel sharp pains, tingling down your arms, and weakness when doing everyday activities.