Neck pain can be extremely disruptive to our day-to-day lives. Depending on your circumstances, neck pain can manifest quite differently. Some common symptoms related to neck pain include:
- Tight and achy sensation pulling from the neck towards the upper back
- Difficulty moving the neck
- Headaches and migraine
Although this may be concerning, most cases are not serious. For the most part, neck pain is caused by tension and stiffness of certain structures such as muscle, joint and ligaments. Fortunately, you can prevent this by changing a few daily habits from home or by visiting Korsh Spinal. To help prevent your neck pain, have a read of our 5 useful tips below.
Adjusting your sitting posture
One of the most common causes of neck pain is poor sitting posture, particularly for those who have an office-based job in front of a computer. Shoulders sitting forward, protruding chin, hunched upper back etc., all common signs seen with poor posture. When in these positions for long periods, significant tension and stress is placed on the structures around the neck.
The image below is an excellent representation of an acceptable sitting posture. Head at eye level with the screen and elbow & knees comfortably resting at a 90-degree angle. If you are finding that your sitting posture is causing neck pain, make subtle changes at your workstation (e.g. screen height, adjusting the office chair).
Reduce your sitting time
Poor posture is not the only contributing factor to neck pain when sitting. The amount of sedentary is equally detrimental if not more. In this context, sedentary means physical inactivity such as sitting in front of a monitor.
By being sedentary for more than 30 minutes consecutively, this increases the stress and tension through the neck. As the body acclimates to long periods of sitting, certain muscles get tighter whilst others become inactive and weaker. As a result, you may feel certain areas around the neck become extremely taut and achy.
To combat sedentary behaviour, you need to interrupt this cycle by mixing in intervals of standing and walking. Image 2 shows some strategies that can be used to decrease sedentary habits and consequently help prevent neck pain.
Specific neck exercises
As mentioned in tip 2, being stationary for prolonged periods can affect the flexibility and activity of certain structures. Some examples of these adaptations include:
- Chest (pectoral) muscles tightening
- Neck muscles weakening
- Shoulder blades positioned sub-optimally
To help mitigate these changes, specific neck and postural exercises can be performed. These will focus on stretching shortened muscles and strengthening areas which are not being activated at all. Fortunately, we have a few exercises below which may help prevent neck pain.
Scapular resetting and activation exercises
Check your pillow’s expiry date
As most of us are in bed for 6-8 hours a day, our sleeping position may affect our back and neck posture. Without the correct support, our neck can be vulnerable to excessive strain. You must have a pillow which supports the natural curvature along the spine of your neck.
Therefore, we would advise you to check your pillow’s expiry date regularly. Surprisingly, after 1-3 years, your pillow will begin to lose its shape and support to your neck. After the expiry period, do not be afraid of investing in good quality pillows.
Booking in with your physiotherapist
Although most neck pain will resolve within a few days, there will be episodes where it will persist without treatment. These periods can drag on and begin to affect everyday activities such as working, house chores and even sleeping. Consulting your physiotherapist will provide you with a diagnosis, management strategies and specific exercise routine. The earlier you seek treatment, the faster the recovery process will be.
Prevent is key! Hopefully, by reading these 5 tips you have a clearer idea about how you can prevent neck pain. However, if you are experiencing neck pain and need assistance, please do not hesitate in booking with Evergreen Rehab and Wellness through