Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention
Sleep with a cervical pillow
Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.
Sleep on your back
The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.
Position your computer screen at eye level
While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.
To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.
Use a telephone headset
Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.
Exercise your neck muscles
One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.
Exercise #1: Chin Tuck
- Press your spine against a door jamb
- Pull the upper back and head backward until your head touches the jamb
- Remember to keep your chin down
- Hold your head against the jamb for 5 seconds
- Repeat 10 times
Exercise #2: Prone Cobra
- Lie face down with your forehead on a rolled hand towel
- Keep your arms at the side with palms down on the floor
- Pinch your shoulder blades together then lift your hands off the floor
- Roll your elbows in with palms out and thumbs up
- Hold this position for 10 seconds
- Repeat 10 times
Your intervertebral discs (the discs between the backbones) are composed mostly of water. Another one of the great neck pain tips to keep your intervertebral discs functioning and healthy is to drink at least 8 full glasses of water a day.
Making you accustomed to the habit of drinking enough water can be challenging. Here are a few ways to help you out:
- With each meal, drink 2 to 3 glasses of water.
- Set an alarm (cellphone or watch) every two hours and drink a glass of water each time the alarm goes off.
- Carry a water bottle with you all the time and d drink throughout the day.
Carry weight evenly
Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.
Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.
Maintain a proper posture
The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.
In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.
Protect yourself from whiplash with a head restraint. Make sure the device you choose is highly rated and use the owner’s manual to adjust it.