Neck pain is a very commonly occurring problem. It can occur due to many reasons, ranging from mild to severe.
What Are The Lifestyle Changes For Neck Pain?
Along with the conventional methods of treatment, certain lifestyle changes can help in giving better results in treating neck pain. These self-care measures may include-
- After treating the pain with pain killers or anti-inflammatory medications, you can start doing exercises at home
- The exercises may include gentle stretching methods
- A physiotherapist can best guide you about what exercises would work best for your condition
- Warming your neck with the help of a heating pad or warm shower prior to the exercises may help in treating the condition effectively(2)
Practicing A Good Posture-
Sitting in a poor posture every day can put up wrong pressure on your neck and back. The neck muscles and upper back muscles become tightened and weakened over time and lead to neck pain, as the cervical spine becomes overworked
Sitting in a good posture is essential in avoiding and treating neck pain. Make sure that your ears are directly above your shoulders. Wherever you are sitting, practicing this good posture will ensure that you stay away from neck pain or treat neck pain if you already have it
Taking small breaks from your sedentary work and doing some stretching exercises can reduce neck straining. The breaks need not be fancy and elaborate, simply taking a short stroll or stretching your neck while sitting at your workspace is good enough to relieve your neck muscles of the unwanted strain(1)
Think About Other Routine Stuff That You Do-
Carrying a heavy backpack for long distances, carrying a heavy bag over same one shoulder always, etc. may cause an imbalance in muscles and lead to neck and upper back pain and even shoulder pain(1)
- Getting a good night’s sleep and sleeping in a correct position may help in alleviating the neck pain
- Sleeping on the sides or back is more beneficial as compared to sleeping on the stomach. Sleeping on the stomach can put a lot of stress on your cervical spine
- Check on your pillows and mattresses. Those who sleep on their backs may benefit from using a thinner pillow so that there is no forward pressure on the spine. Those who sleep on their sides may benefit from a thicker pillow so that there is minimum pressure on the neck and the spine stays straight or neutral
- If your mattress is quite old or soft, you may need to replace or rotate it with a firmer one(1)
Follow Healthy Habits Before Bed-
- Watching television or mobile screens right before going to bed can put excess pressure on your cervical spine.
- Keeping a similar bedtime every night can help to an extent too(1)
- Anxiety, stress, and depression can cause neck pain in some people
- Many reasons like emotional stress, mismanagement on time and inability to perform tasks as is expected of you are a few of the many reasons that can cause stress and anxiety in people
- These may cause unwanted pressure on your neck muscles and give rise to neck pain(1)
- Neck pain can be managed with some over the counter pain medications
- These may include medicines like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, acetaminophen, etc.(2)
Heat And Cold Treatment-
- An ice pack or ice wrapped in a thin towel can be used to treat inflammation. This can be used for a maximum of 20 minutes, a number of times throughout the day
- Cold treatment can be alternated with heat
- A heating pad or a warm shower can help in reducing the pain and inflammation(2)
Certain lifestyle changes if followed along with other treatment methods can help in alleviating neck pain and even preventing it in many cases.
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