It’s not until you have real pain in your neck that you begin to understand the expression, “Pain in the neck.” Discomfort in your neck can affect almost everything you do, from driving your car to sitting down to watch TV.
If you’d like to avoid neck pain down the road, there are some healthy habits that you can incorporate toward that end. To get you started, the highly experienced team here at Spinal Diagnostics pulled together the following tips.
Many people wake up with a stiff and painful neck, meaning how you sleep matters. If you want to avoid neck pain in the morning, you should use a pillow that offers firm support for your neck, such as a shaped memory foam pillow or some other filling that equally supports your head and neck.
You also want to avoid pillows that are too large and wrench your head up during the night. Your spine should be in a straight, neutral position while you sleep.
When it comes to sleep position, we recommend sleeping on your back or your side. Sleeping on your stomach forces your head to turn in one direction.
These days, it’s hard to find someone who isn’t staring down at a screen. Thanks to laptops, smartphones, and tablets, we spend far too much time with our heads down, which can greatly stress our necks.
To offset this, we recommend you do everything you can to keep your screens at eye level. You can use stands, or even a stack of books, to prop your screen up so you’re not looking down.
Taking a few minutes each day to stretch out your neck can do wonders for avoiding neck pain and stiffness. If you work at a computer for long hours, stop every hour to stand up and move your head around. For some great stretching exercises, click here.
Hot and cold therapies work exceptionally well if your neck is stiff and painful. To start, use an ice pack for about 20 minutes to reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Then, you can go in the opposite direction with heat to stimulate circulation.
An excellent all-in-one solution for this practice is gel packs that you can place in the freezer or microwave to get both cold and hot.
If you’re still experiencing neck pain despite incorporating these healthy habits, it’s time to see us. After a thorough evaluation, we can provide you with the solutions you need to relieve your neck pain, which might include injections, ablation techniques, or spinal cord stimulation, to name just a few.
If you have more questions about relieving neck pain, please contact one of our locations in Tualatin and Newberg, Oregon, to set up an appointment.