Many of us can get a stiff neck sometimes, especially after a long workday, a stressful project or from sleeping in the wrong position. Here are some tips to help you avoid it becoming a real pain in the neck.
- Maintain good posture when you sit or stand
- Avoid looking down when texting – make sure your phone is at eye level
- Also move your computer monitor to eye level
- Take micro-breaks throughout your day, especially if your job requires that you sit for long periods of time
- Stop and take breaks during a long car trip
- Use a firm pillow and sleep on your side or on your back, never on your stomach
- Learn to recognise your signs of stress and take steps to relieve stress in your life on a regular basis
- Try regular exercises throughout the day and each week to maintain proper movement in your neck.
Managing your neck pain at home
There are a few things you can try at home to help alleviate neck pain.
pain can be caused by inflammation. Therefore, ice can reduce swelling to an
area that is inflamed. Hold a cold pack or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped
in a towel on your neck. A good rule of thumb is 20 minutes on, 20
minutes off and then repeat.
How’s your pillow?
Make sure you use a firm pillow and sleep on your back or side, never on your stomach. If your pillow is too flat, it forces your neck to bend in an unnatural position and you’ll wake up feeling sore.
Try Neck Exercises
Do light neck exercises by gently moving your head up and down and from side to side to help loosen stiff muscles. Be careful not to over-extend your neck beyond its normal limits or you may do more harm than good.
Avoid driving if your neck is too stiff
Driving may require you to look over your shoulder to see behind you when changing lanes or reversing. If your neck is stiff, restricting your ability to look over your shoulder, it could impair your ability to drive safely. Driving may also require you to turn your neck quickly from side to side. If you have neck pain, this may overstretch your neck and cause severe pain. It’s best to avoid driving until your neck’s normal movement is restored.
When to see your chiropractor
It’s a good idea to see your chiropractor when any of these symptoms are present:
- Your neck pain or stiffness does not improve after a few days
- You cannot look to the right or left without severe neck pain
- You feel like you must use over-the-counter pain medication just to make it through the day or are using it regularly to treat your neck pain
- You’re worried that your neck pain may have a serious cause
- Your neck pain started in the neck but has moved to numbness or tingling in your hands or wrists
- Your neck pain started within a few days of a car accident
- Your neck pain is worse when you first wake up in the morning but then begins to feel a little better as the day progresses
Lane Chiropractic can help get your neck moving again. Call us on 6676 2270 for an appointment.