Persistent neck pain can interfere with your life in that you’re not able to carry out some activities with ease and can’t get a good night sleep. Both men and women are susceptible to neck pains, and the numbers of the affected population keep rising due to awkward positions while using phones and computers. As a matter of fact, looking down on your phone or laptop sometimes prompts you to crane at awkward angles, thus straining the neck muscles. The best way to cope, or rather prevent neck pains is through lifestyle changes. This may involve adopting a good posture and regular exercising to strengthen muscles as well as help relieve the pain in the neck.[1]

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Ways Of Coping With Neck Pain

Ways Of Coping With Neck Pain

Stress can be one of the reasons you are having neck pains. It may not be the cause but could be worsening the pain in your neck. Therefore, you had a need to control your stress levels so as to help reduce the pain in your neck. Stress management can easily be achieved via several methods including exercise, relaxation techniques, talking about your stress and taking anti-anxiety medication if you do have anxiety, stress, and/or depression.[2]

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Stay hydrated as much as possible. The discs between the vertebrae in the spine need water so as to maintain disc height and spinal alignment, which reduces the pressure of the spine. When you are born, each individual spinal disc has roughly 80% water. As you grow older, that percentage reduces as the discs degenerate. If you observe good hydration habits, it may prevent further disc degenerations, which in turn will reduce neck pain.

Staying active can also help with pain relief in your neck. Go for swimming whenever you can as it has some therapeutic effects including providing quick pain relief and easing neck stiffness. Activities you can do while in the pool can be inclusive of moving around with the water level up to your neck, swimming in a pool with warm water, and swimming with a stroke that is gentle on your neck.[3] Exercising will also help with pain relief as your brain produces endorphins that help improve your mood and block pain signals at the same time.[4]

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Pay keen attention to your position while using your phone or computer. Do not cradle your phone in your neck while talking or crane too much downwards while using your phone or laptop. To avoid neck pains from such bad positions, hold your phone up high when texting or browsing and use Bluetooth or a hands-free handset for calls.

Additionally, you can find a neck-supporting chair which will help keep your spine in a neutral position, especially when working on your computer.[3]

Consider going for a massage every now and then as it will help not only reduce stress, but also relieve tension in your muscles thus alleviate neck pain. If you have chronic neck pain, you should avoid alcohol as it interferes with your sleep, and sleep deprivation makes the pain worse. Also, don’t smoke since it can worsen painful circulation problems and cause heart diseases. It is important you track your pain on a daily basis so as to identify activities that trigger the pain and be able to rate your pain.

You can also cope with neck pain by finding ways to distract yourself by engaging in activities you enjoy. It may not get rid of the pain but it will help keep your mind off the pain and you can enjoy your life.[4] Finally, you can seek help from a professional for physical therapy. This will be of help in reducing pain in your neck, reduce risks of injury and re-injury to your muscles as well as strengthening your weak neck muscles through targeted exercise activities.[3]

Conclusion

Neck pain treatment methods have evolved over the years, and as much as they may work for some individuals, for others, they are not as effective. Conventional methods for neck pain management i.e. medication and chiropractic care don’t always provide pain relief. So, it is totally fine if you consider other methods to help you cope with neck pain. You can do so by either through massage therapy, stress management, adopting a good posture, staying active through exercising, as well as hydrating.

References:  

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: July 1, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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