Everyday Neck Pain
Many people suffer everyday from neck pain with an intensity that ranges from aggravating to devastating. Neck pain is often caused by activities that involve repeated movements or prolonged postures that stress the neck's muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones or joints. Muscle strain can occur from overuse - for example hunching at a desk or steering wheel for too long can eventually fatigue the muscles, causing even minor use of the muscles to be painful. Like all other joints in your body, your neck joints experience wear and tear which can sometimes lead to osteoarthritis which causes pain ans stiffness in your neck. Disc disorders and other back injuries can also set off neck pain. For neck pain caused by stress or muscle strain, there are ways to relieve some of tension and perhaps even prevent pain in the first place.
- Avoid slouching or leaning forward onto your hand too often when sitting. Keep posture upright by having both feet flat on the floor with your lower back supported and your shoulders relaxed.
- Adjust your environment to ensure that you are not straining.
- If you use the phone often, don't cradle it between your ear and your shoulder as this will quickly cause cramping; rather think about using a speaker-phone or a headset.
- If you work at a computer, adjust the monitor so that the top of the screen is eye level.
- Make sure your car seat is in an upright position that supports your head and back, as well as allowing you to hold the steering wheel without reaching.
- Take regular breaks throughout the day to get up, walk around and stretch. Simply changing your position and stretching the muscles can automatically relieve stiffness.
- Slowly roll your head around in a circle.
- Hold your shoulders down with your fingertips an stretch your neck from side to side.
- Use these quick breaks to strengthen the muscles as well (see exercises below.)