Having a painful neck is very inconvenient. It is also very common among adults. About 13% of American adults are reported to suffer from neck pain.
The main cause for a neck pain is the muscle tension and over stretch due to poor posture or having an improper pillow or mattress. If the neck pain persists, it will also lead to headaches, stiffness and other difficulties in swallowing. It also prevents your flexibility in daily activities.
Luckily, there are many ways you could easily do to reduce as well as preventing neck pain. They range from having regular exercises and stretching to changing bad old habits.
Here are top tips that you could follow so that this annoying problem will never occur to you anymore.
In the first few tips, you will need to pay attention to your postures to make sure they are correct no matter what you are doing.
- 1. Have A Correct Posture When Sitting
- 2. Have A Correct Posture When Standing
- 3. Adjust Your Chair So You Can Sit Properly On It
- 4. Adjust Your Car Seat
- 5. Buy A Chair With A Supportive Back
- 6. Relax Your Shoulders
- 7. Use Your Hand or A Headphone Device While Talking On The Phone
- 8. Carry A Heavy Bag With Your Shoulders
- 9. Adjust Your Computer To A Convenient Height
- 10. Raise Your Book Up
- 11. Ensure The Natural Curve Of your Neck And Spine While Sleeping
- 12. Use Horse-shoe shaped Pillow
- 13. Use Proper Lifting Techniques
- 14. Do Neck Turn
- 15. Do Head Tilts
- 16. Circle Your Shoulder
- 17. Roll Your Neck
- 18. Do Neck Lift
- 19. Take On Yoga Or Meditation
- 20. Massage
- 21. Stop Smoking
- 22. Sleep On Your Back
- 23. Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach
- 24. Use A Correct Pair Of Glasses
- 25. Don’t Read Or Watch Television When You Are Lying Down
- 26. Drink Enough Water
- 27. Take A Break Frequently
- 28. Make Sure You Have Enough Sleep
- 29. Avoid Being Stressed
- 30. Maintain A Healthy Weight
1. Have A Correct Posture When Sitting
It is very important to maintain a good posture while you are sitting. Make sure your eyes are in line with your shoulders and your hips. Your back can be straight up or lean forward to the chair to make an angle of 40°.
Your limbs and arms need to be parallel to the floor. Also your arms need to be as closer to your body as possible.
You should maintain this position all the time for it to become effective.
2. Have A Correct Posture When Standing
The most common mistake people make while standing is leaning both head and shoulders forward. Try to avoid having your head in front of your shoulders.
3. Adjust Your Chair So You Can Sit Properly On It
This chair should be adjustable so you can set a suitable height for you to sit down. A good chair will also support your posture when you sit on it.
– Make sure it is not so high that you have to tiptoe.
– In addition, you should have a couple of inches of space between the back of the knees and your chair. If you don’t have that, adjust the back of the chair if possible or even add a pillow to shift yourself forward.
– Move the arms to support your arms. Your arms should rest comfortably on the arms of the chair. You should not be bending over or feel like your arms are hanging down, or you may tense up your shoulders as a result and end up with neck pain.
4. Adjust Your Car Seat
You should also pay attention to your car’s seat. You should adjust the distance between the seat and the wheels so that your feet don’t have to tiptoe and your arms are in slightly bent position.
5. Buy A Chair With A Supportive Back
Besides having a proper length, a good chair needs to have a back which is slightly curved. It will help you rest your back comfortably.
6. Relax Your Shoulders
When you are reading and sitting on the computer, if you feel that your shoulders are tense, especially when they are curved up, try to relax your shoulders and lower them down a bit.
7. Use Your Hand or A Headphone Device While Talking On The Phone
Most people have the habit of using the neck and the crook of the shoulders as a crutch while talking on the phone so their hands are free to do other things. If you are one of them, you should stop doing that to prevent putting much pressure on your neck.
Alternatively, you can use a headset or ear piece.
8. Carry A Heavy Bag With Your Shoulders
When you have to carry a heavy bag along with you, don’t carry it by one hand only. Take it by two hands or carry them with your shoulders will help ease the pain of the neck.
If you have no choice but carry by 1 hand, change sides frequently.
It is ideal, especially when you go shopping, to bring along a portable trolley.
9. Adjust Your Computer To A Convenient Height
You should adjust your computer’s screen so that your eyes can see right to the screen without bending your neck up and down.
In addition, some people set the screen slightly off to the left or right side. This will make you turn your head slightly to see, which in turn will cause neck pain in a long run. What you should do is simply putting your screen in line with your keyboard.
10. Raise Your Book Up
When reading heavy books, people tend to lower the book or put it down on the table. If you do so, you have to bend your neck down in order to read it, which will cause neck pain. Therefore, you should try to pick the book up to a comfortable height.
If possible, try to lean your book backwards onto some things such as walls and shelves.
11. Ensure The Natural Curve Of your Neck And Spine While Sleeping
You should buy the most comfortable pillow to support your neck when you sleep. The best pillow will ensure the natural curve of your neck and spine.
The type of pillow depends on your style of sleeping. If you sleep on your back, you should buy one which is firm like the feather pillows to ensure the natural curve of your neck and spin. If you sleep on your side, choose a firmer pillow. Avoid using a pillow which is too high or too stiff.
Another thing that also affects the natural curve of your neck and your back is the mattress. An ideal mattress needs to be firm but not too stiff or too soft.
12. Use Horse-shoe shaped Pillow
When you have to sit against a chair or car seat for a long time, especially when you are travelling, you should use a horse-shoe shaped pillow. It will help to support your neck from behind and prevent your head from falling to sides if you doze off.
13. Use Proper Lifting Techniques
This is very important to prevent your neck and back from serious injuries. You should bend your knee down instead of your back to grab the objects. To pick them up, slowly strengthen your legs.
Moving to the next tips to prevent neck pain, you can follow some exercises that target the neck. You can take these exercises whenever you feel that your neck is stiff and painful. You can do most of the exercise when you stand up or sit down. They are also very easy to do. With each exercise, try to do at least 4 sets for it to be effective.
14. Do Neck Turn
Turn your chin to the left side and then right sight. You should try to turn your chin from your shoulder as far as possible.
When you reach the maximum turn, hold that position for 20 seconds before changing sides.
15. Do Head Tilts
With this exercise, you can simply bend your head slightly to the left and right without twisting it. When you bend your neck, try to hold for 20 seconds before moving on.
16. Circle Your Shoulder
Use your hands and grab your shoulders lightly. Roll them in a clockwise circle for at least 30 seconds. Then you can change to roll the shoulders in an anticlockwise circle, also for a minimum time of 30 seconds.
17. Roll Your Neck
First you will roll your neck to the left hand. Slightly roll it back to the middle before moving to roll to the right hand side. While you are rolling your neck, don’t stop in the middle of a roll.
18. Do Neck Lift
This exercise is different from other exercises above. Instead of sitting down or standing up, this time you will lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your neck up without moving your shoulders and your back. And then slowly lift your neck down back down to the floor.
Besides doing neck lift with your back, try to do the same on each side.
19. Take On Yoga Or Meditation
These exercises will offer you a great numbers of stretching exercises as well as breathing exercise to relax your muscles and reduce neck pain.
Besides stretching exercises, you can give yourself a good massage so that your muscles will be relaxed and tensions will be released.
The last few tips are about changing habits. There are several bad habits to avoid and good habits to follow. Changing old habits and adapting to new habits take time. Therefore you need to make a big commitment and be stricter to yourself.
21. Stop Smoking
Besides having severe impacts on your overall heart and lung systems, smoking also causes negative impact on your neck.
There are many ways to stop smoking such as using nicotine patches. Also you could ask your family members to take care and stop you whenever you want to smoke.
22. Sleep On Your Back
This is the best position, especially if you are having a neck pain. It will support the natural alignment of your neck and spine. Your neck can rest well when you sleep on your back.
This is the worst position of sleeping which can cause many problems to your health and neck pain is one of them. This sleeping position will create an odd curves of your neck and your spine.
24. Use A Correct Pair Of Glasses
An unsuitable pair of reading glasses will provide you bad eyesight, making you have to lean forwards or backwards to read more easily. So make sure you visit your doctor frequently to have the most current prescription.
25. Don’t Read Or Watch Television When You Are Lying Down
I have mentioned above about putting your books in a right height when you are reading. If you read book when lying down, you will probably not have the book at the right level and hence the neck will not be in a comfortable position. This also applies to watching TV.
You should stand up or sit down when doing these activities so that your eyes can look right at the middle of the book or TV.
26. Drink Enough Water
There is a very strong scientific explanation about this advice. One of the parts whose job is supporting the neck is the discs. This structure needs to be well hydrated to function normally.
27. Take A Break Frequently
If you think you have been spending a lot of tine chatting on the phone or working, you should take a rest immediately. Try to stand up, stretch your body and ease your shoulders. You can also lie down with a pillow to give your neck a good rest.
Remember to take a break frequently, for example, for at least 1 hour.
28. Make Sure You Have Enough Sleep
Researchers have found out that people with trouble falling asleep and staying asleep are more likely to have neck pain. With enough sleep, your body will have time to relax the muscles, including the neck muscles, and heal the pain which may occur from the activities in the day time.
29. Avoid Being Stressed
Being stressed is not only harmful to the neck but also the overall health of your body. Stressfulness can trigger muscles tension and leave to serious pains. In any circumstances, it is better if you can remain calm and relaxed.
It is quite hard to do so, but if you think you have endured enough, take a break, go outside or simply turn on your favorite music. They will all help you to reduce stress and also reduce muscle tension.
30. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Lastly, you should remember to control your weight regularly.
If you are gaining weight, so does your head. The neck has to bear the weight of your head, and when the head gains weight, it may become too much for your neck to handle. Over time, it will cause neck pain as well as other neck and spine issues.
Here are 30 ways what you could do to prevent neck pain. It is very important that you consult your doctor about the pain and any kind of treatment that you are about to take.
I hope that by following these easy guides, you could be able to reduce and prevent neck pain more effectively in the future.