By Brian Acton
There are many causes of neck pain, from the wear and tear of common activities to serious injuries. But when your neck pain doesn’t have an obvious cause, identifying the best way to prevent it isn’t easy.
There are some common contributors to garden variety neck pain, however, and with some lifestyle adjustments you may be able to reduce neck pain or prevent it from occurring in the first place. Here are five ways to prevent the occurrence of neck pain.
- Practice Good Posture
Do you tend to slouch or lean forward when you sit and/or stand? Bad posture can put a lot of extra strain on your neck, causing your muscles to work harder than they would if you were standing or sitting up straight. When you stand, hold your head facing directly forward. When you sit, place your feet shoulder width apart and flat on the ground, sit up straight, and don’t round your shoulders forward.
- Avoid Tech Neck
Tech neck is another issue directly related to your posture. The time you spend hunching forward to look at screens - including computer monitors, laptops, cell phones, and tablets - can put too much stress on your neck. Looking down at your phone at a 60° angle, for example, can put 60 pounds of extra pressure on your neck. All this craning forward can lead to neck pain.
If you’re worried about developing tech neck, try reducing the amount of time you spend looking down at screens. You can also bring screens to eye level by adjusting the height of computer monitors and holding your mobile devices directly in front of you, rather than looking down at them.
- Get the Right Pillow
Sleeping in the wrong position leads to improper spinal alignment and possibly neck pain. Improper sleeping positions can be caused by injuries, medical conditions, bad sleeping techniques, or just the wrong pillow. The right pillow can help you keep your head elevated at the proper level and avoid spinal issues.
The Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow promotes spinal health and sleeping posture by supporting the neck at the correct level using raised edges that support the neck. Make sure your neck is getting the right level of support when you sleep.
- Stretch and Strengthen
Performing stretches to loosen up and strengthening exercises to build your neck, chest, and upper back muscles will help your body support your head and keep your muscles strong and tension-free. The stronger and healthier your upper body is, the more you can resist developing neck pain.
- Reduce Stress
Stress and anxiety are potential contributors to neck pain. When tension and stress build in your neck, your muscles can feel tight and achy, and this tension can even spread to the shoulders. There are things you can do to relieve stress, such as reducing your workload, getting exercise, and eating healthy. Keep in mind that some stress conditions may need medical or psychological intervention, so talk to your doctor if you need to come up with a treatment plan.