Chiropractic Tip: Start Taking Better Care of Your Neck
The neck is an amazing part of the body, and life is often very hard on it. As we hurry along at work, cradling the phone between shoulder and ear, or bend our necks over screens for hours at a time, neck pain can sneak up on us and decide to stay.
Arthritis, degenerative disc disease, poor posture, stress, reduced strength and lack of sleep can all trigger ongoing neck pain. Taking better care of your neck can be your best defense against lasting neck pain.
Start with Good Defenses
Harvard Health outlines several key ways to intercept neck pain early by taking good care of your neck. Take a good look at your work posture and hours of work time. Staying in one bad position for a long time can create a cycle of increasing neck pain.
Have your posture checked out as you sit facing the screen with feet flat on the floor and eyes focused straight ahead. Then alternate keyboard work with other tasks and take frequent breaks.
Relieve your neck as much as possible. Try the handsfree function on your phone or wear a headset. At home when you are using screens, prop your touchscreen tablet on a pillow so that it sits at a 45° angle, instead of lying flat on your lap. Avoid hunching over laptop or phone screens wherever you are.
Keep eyeglass prescriptions and checkups current. Make sure you are not bending forward and peering to see the screen or leaning your head back to see better.
Make sure your sleeping area has a moderately firm, comfortable mattress and don’t use too many pillows. Sleeping with several pillows under your head can inhibit your neck’s range of motion.
Avoid heavy lifting and moving tasks at home. Before you move a big piece of furniture consider how much it might strain your neck and back, and get some help or hire movers. Long range costs and lasting neck pain could be a much bigger issue than just moving furniture.
Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep problems increase the risk for musculoskeletal pain.
Note: If your neck pain continues watch out for more serious symptoms, such as radiating pain, weakness, or numbness of an arm or leg. If they show up see your doctor or go to ER. Also get immediate treatment for other warning signs like ongoing severe pain, fever or weight loss.
Seeing Your Chiropractor
If neck pain is turning into an ongoing problem, see your chiropractor promptly to avoid chronic situations.
Your chiropractor is experienced in neck pain and will be able to diagnose the problem and suggest the best treatment.
In the first visit the chiropractor will use a spinal manipulation to evaluate the health of your spine and then ask questions about your level of pain. There will also be a complete medical history review followed by a discussion of daily activities.
From there, your chiropractor may want to talk about posture, healthy diets, weight loss, relaxation exercises to reduce stress, and new approaches like daily walking or swimming.
I have known many people who have turned chiropractic visits into regular health checkpoints. They maintained active schedules and enjoyed busy lives. But whenever painful twinges, such as neck pain, came up they turned to their chiropractor to find early solutions.
As their chiropractors helped them the emphasis was on natural care with no medications or surgery.
If this sounds like a plan you would like to live with make an appointment and find out more.