Now that we know the main causes of neck pain from part one of this article, we can go over the many ways we can try to prevent it from happening to us.
Going back to my Thomas Jefferson-esque sore neck I referred to in part one, in my case it was clearly from stress. I know it’s often easier said than done, but if you notice you are waking up with painful neck cricks, ask yourself some hard questions and see what might be going on that is bothering you. If it’s because you took on too many responsibilities, juggle your list a bit to give you more time to get things done or think about cutting back on your workload a bit. Whatever the reason is for your neck to be sore and painful, see what you can do to make it better.
Before continuing on with more preventative tips, it’s definitely worth mentioning that if you have a sore neck and are doing everything you can to reduce your risk factors and improve your posture and it’s still hanging on, please go in to see your doctor for a checkup. There are other medical reasons for neck pain that might need to be investigated. And if you have neck pain from whiplash or another type of neck injury, it’s also wise to be under a doctor’s care to be sure you are getting the correct kind of treatment.
Okay, back to the tips. Going back to the idea that many of us sit for long periods, to keep your neck as pain-free as you can, try to get up every hour and walk around a bit. The same goes for if you are traveling. Do some light and gentle stretches as you sit, like rolling your neck from side to side to help prevent it from getting stiff.
Also, sit up straight, and try not to slouch in your chair when on the computer or on the couch when watching television.
Make sure you have a good-quality pillow and mattress so that when you sleep your head and neck are supported. Try not to sleep on your stomach, because that will put more pressure onto your neck and shoulders.
You might need to rearrange your furniture in your living or family room a bit, but if it means having your television at a better angle in relation to the furniture, then please consider doing so. I’ve been in homes where you have to sort of sit and crane your neck to one side to see the television, which can be a recipe for disaster if you’re watching a longer program or movie.
As cool as it might be to have something in common with Thomas Jefferson, neck pain is no fun. Between lowering your stress levels to making sure you get out of your desk chair more often, it’s important that we take care of the health of our necks as much as we can.