(Natural News) You might have experienced neck pain at some point in your life. At any given time, 13 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from neck pain. The pain typically originates from muscles, tendons, and ligaments in and around the neck. While an underlying problem or trauma may cause neck pain, it can also occur for no apparent or identifiable reason. To prevent neck pain, follow these tips: (h/t to Spine-Health.com.)
- Get a new pillow: You may prevent neck pain by having a pillow that is comfortable and supports your neck while you sleep. Generally, it is best to use a pillow that keeps your neck in neutral alignment or supports and maintains the natural curve of your neck. People with neck problems may have other sleep preferences. Some people find it more comfortable sleeping on their back with their head supported by a flat pillow or an orthopedic pillow, while others may find lying on the side more comfortable.
- Sleep on your back: The best sleeping position is sleeping on your back. This is because it allows your entire spine to rest comfortably. Some people with neck problems, such as spinal arthritis or stenosis, find that sleeping on their back and placing a pillow under each arm helpful, while others prefer sleeping at a slight incline, so they add a foam wedge pillow to their bed or use an adjustable bed. If you prefer to lie sideways, use a pillow that is not too high to prevent your head and neck from turning or bending unnaturally to either side.
- Keep your computer monitor at eye level: Another way to prevent neck pain is to keep your computer or laptop should be at eye level. Some laptops need you to look down to see the screen, if this is the case, connect your laptop to a separate monitor or screen.
- Avoid using your phone too much: Using your phone for texting and other purposes require you to look down on your device, which puts extra strain on your neck. The added stress on the joints, ligaments, and discs in your neck will eventually result in premature degenerative changes in the neck. You can avoid neck pain from phone use by putting your phone or device to eye level, reducing texting time, resting your hands and device on a pillow, and taking frequent breaks.
- Use a headset: If you have to use your phone for longer, avoid tilting your head to the side or putting your phone in the crook of your neck. You can do this by using a headset or an earpiece instead.
- Exercise your neck: You can do simple exercises, such as chin tuck exercise, to stretch your neck and prevent neck pain. Chin tuck exercise helps strengthen the muscles that pull the head into alignment over the shoulders and stretches neck muscles.
- Avoid dehydration: Drinking plenty of water is also important for preventing neck pain. Staying hydrated will help keep the discs, the spongy structures lying between the vertebrae in your neck, pliable and strong. Try to drink at least eight large glasses of water each day.
- Avoid carrying weight on one side of the body: Carrying something heavy on just one side of the body can make your shoulders uneven, which results in strained neck muscles. If you’d have to carry heavy stuff around, consider using a backpack that distributes weight evenly across your shoulders.
- Maintain proper posture: One of the possible cause of neck pain is poor posture. Having a poor posture strains the muscles and ligaments supporting the neck, which can lead to an injury over time.
- Alleviate trigger point pain: Trigger points are small knots in the muscle or fascia that cause pain. You can relieve a trigger point pain by using a heating pad or ice pack, finding what’s stressing your muscle out, and doing some exercises like swimming or jumping jacks. (Related: Got neck pain? New study says chiropractic care and simple home exercises work better than painkillers.)
Read more on preventing neck pain by going to NaturalCures.news.