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Neck pain is a commonly addressed issue by people of all ages. Youngsters to golden ager’s, suffer from severe neck pain due to several reasons. The increased digital media consumption has urged people to spend more time on smartphones, laptops, and other digital devices, thereby elevating potential neck pain. Down with age, adults and other senior citizens of the society may start suffering from osteoarthritis, causing the neck joints to wear down. Other possible reasons for neck pain could be muscle tightness, spasms, muscle strains, nerve compression, and other neck injuries.
Poor body posture and age-related health problems are considered the two prominent reasons for neck pain. Incorporating simple lifestyle changes can gradually help an individual overcome them.
1. Even balancing of weight
While carrying luggage, carry weight evenly. Using one shoulder or hand to hold and support suitcases could be detrimental to your neck muscles. Primarily, while packing, only carry the necessities. While choosing baggage, prefer a backpack over a suitcase, for it can relieve strain on your shoulders and put your neck muscles at ease through the equal distribution of pressure on your body.
2. Good posture
With the dawn of pandemic and lockdown, work from home and online education have become the new normal. Therefore, ensuring a good posture while working and studying is essential. Set up a workstation where you can work comfortably without straining your neck muscles. While sitting at your desk, keep your feet flat on the floor with your thighs resting parallel to the floor.
A chair with adjustable height, backrest, and lumbar support is highly recommended. Chairs without armrests will leave you with no choice but to rest your arms on the desk parallel to the floor. The presence of armrests can tempt you to slump down and hunch your shoulders. Adjust your seating position in such a way that your monitor screen is at your eye level. This will prevent you from looking down all the time and hence reduce neck pain chances.
3. Sleeping position
Some people prefer to sleep on their side or back, while others prefer to sleep on their stomachs. Among all these, sleeping on the back is considered ideal. It can help your spine and neck muscles rest comfortably. Placing two pillows under the arms would be an excellent choice to support your arms to rest and thereby take the strain off the neck. If you prefer to sleep on your side, make sure that you have placed your pillow in a good position to support the neck muscles. But at any rate, avoid sleeping on your stomach, for resting your head in a rotated position for a long duration can heighten the risk of neck pain.
4. Strengthen upper body muscles
Strengthening the upper body, i.e., the muscles between the shoulder blades is essential to prevent neck pain. When the muscles between the shoulder blades become weak, the neck muscles tighten and become sore. If these muscles remain overactive for a prolonged period, the chances are high that the person will start experiencing intense neck pain. To prevent this from happening, one must engage in daily exercises and activities to improve their upper body strength.
5. Keep yourself hydrated
The importance of drinking water daily is very well-known. Water plays a vital role in our day-to-day life, from keeping the body disease-free to enhancing the body’s smooth functioning. Keeping oneself hydrated throughout the day serves many purposes. One such reason points to the role played by water in nourishing the disc, the spongy-like structures that lie between the vertebrae of our neck. Leaving these discs hydrated is essential to keep them flexible, strong, and pliable.
6. Use Headsets
While using mobile phones to make phone calls, make sure you use hand-free devices like a headset to prevent tilting your head to the side. During other instances, say while texting or chatting with your close ones, ensure that you keep your phones at your eye level instead of stooping down.
7. Choose an apt pillow for comfortable sleep
To sleep well is a blessing. Using the right pillow to rest your head is one prime factor that determines the quality of your sleep. The comfort a person experiences from using a particular pillow differs from person to person. Identify what kind of pillow gives you comfort by supporting your neck and replace it as soon as possible. While selecting pillows, always make sure you choose the one that keeps your cervical spine in neutral alignment. This way, you can prevent neck pain.
Neck pain is a common problem faced by a lot of people. In some cases, it may even pay the way for headache or pain down in the arms. It could end up affecting an individual’s personal and work life. Follow the tips and lifestyle changes mentioned above to relieve your neck pain and to prevent it from showing up again.