The neck is the starting point of the spinal cord and contains seven cervical vertebrae. It supports the weight of the head and connects the head with the torso, and allows mobility. The larynx in the top of the neck allows breathing and producing sound. It also carries sensory information from the brain to the rest of the body.
Trouble with neck pain is a common problem among many people. Apart from a great deal of the functionality of the neck, it is subjected to a lot of stress. The circumference of the neck, when compared to the rest of the body, increases the risks of injury or stiffness. Read ahead for some tips to resolve the issue.
Change lifestyle to prevent neck pain
When not put in the right position or due to overuse, soft tissues in and around the cervical spine or neck can lead to neck pain or stiffness. The pain can be relieved within a few days, but pain specialists can come to aid if it persists for long.
Using the right pillow, sleeping on your back, keeping your shoulders level when carrying weight, working with the computer at eye level, avoiding junk food, and hydrating often are some of the lifestyle choices one can make to prevent neck pain. Poor posture is problematic in all functions of life. Hunching or slouching too much, or sitting with your neck stretching forward towards the screen, or looking down on your laptop or book for long periods are poor postures one must avoid. Also, if you’re in the habit of cracking your neck too often, it may lead to some serious health complications like osteoarthritis or blood clotting.
A little stress is common and unavoidable in our day-to-day life, but excessive stress can lead to other health problems in the long run. All our stress and worries center in our necks, causing muscle tension, ultimately resulting in neck pain. Stress can manifest itself in our bodies in the form of headaches, muscle spasms, and neck pain. Our bodies, when in fight or flight mode, release stress hormones, further tensing neck muscles. We can treat our mind and body by following some of these simple steps:
- Massage therapy can help push away the muscle tension and stress that is causing the neck pain.
- Yoga and meditation can help calm your nerves and think better.
- A hot bath or shower makes it difficult for the muscles to hold in tension. Precisely why some of the old spiritual locations in the world have hot water springs for therapy.
- Exercise during stressful times can help release endorphins, which is a feel-good hormone.
Control the use of smartphones
When you look down at your phone for long periods, you excessively strain your neck. It can lead to neck stiffness and pain if not corrected. It is always advisable to raise the phone to eye level, minimize phone use, change positions, or take breaks. If your profession requires you to be on the phone a lot, avoid tilting your head to the side and keeping the phone on the crook of your neck. You should use a headset or earplugs instead for convenience. Yes, the device was invented for the convenience of human beings, but excessive usage can do more harm than good.
Some lifestyle changes are necessary for a stress-free and pain-free existence. Occasional breaks help release the accumulated stress in our mind and body and can help you perform better.