The neck is a surprisingly fragile yet vital part of your body. It’s much more than a mere pedestal for your head; it houses the arteries that supply blood from your heart to your brain. Without a healthy neck, everything from your energy levels to your immune system to your general well-being could suffer.
Taking special care of your neck is very important to maintain good overall health. Implement these ten tips to keep your neck healthy, strong and pain-free.
Improve Your Posture
To promote proper spinal alignment, try these tips:
- Avoid slouching when you sit. Put your back completely against your seat to support your lower back
- Avoid sitting for long periods without changing your position
- Take a break from sitting several times an hour and gently stretch your neck muscles with shoulder shrugs.
- Strive to stand up as straight as you can, avoiding a head-forward posture.
- When lifting heavy objects, lift with your knees, not your back.
- Invest in a Bluetooth headset to talk hands-free instead of cradling your phone on your shoulder.
Make Your Workspace More Ergonomic
Assess your workstation and make the following changes:
- Position your computer monitor so you’re looking directly at the screen when you hold your head in a neutral position.
- Choose a comfortable, adjustable-height computer chair with arm rests to take strain off your neck muscles.
- Consider an ergonomic keyboard to prevent straining your wrists, arms and shoulders.
Seek Treatment Following an Auto Injury
Whiplash is a common injury following a car accident. You can avoid long-term health problems by seeking immediate auto injury treatment at Freedom Health Centers. We recommend you seek a full assessment within 24 to 48 hours after the accident, even if it seemed like a minor collision. A little attention now could prevent chronic neck pain, damaged spinal disks, muscle cramps and nerve compression in the future.
Find a New Pillow
An unsupportive pillow is a very common cause of acute and chronic neck pain. The goal is to find a pillow that supports your neck and head in a neutral position, whether lying on your side or your back. Avoid sleeping on your stomach because even a pillow that perfectly supports the natural curve in your neck can’t counter the pressure from lying in this position.
Have a Chiropractic Adjustment
Cervical spine decompression causes pressure resulting in herniated discs, which can be incredibly painful. Traumatic injury and poor posture are two common causes of this condition, and it’s just one reason you might seek a chiropractic adjustment at Freedom Health Centers. Our team consists of physical medicine experts and a neurologist to help prevent and reverse neck and spinal injuries.
Implement Relaxation Exercises
Learn relaxation techniques to relieve stress, relax muscles and prevent neck pain. When stress begins to take hold, try these tips:
- Take slow, deep breaths.
- Turn on some soothing music and close your eyes.
- Soak in a warm bath.
- Sit in a cool, dark room and meditate.
- Sip on a warm, alcohol- and caffeine-free drink, such as herbal tea.
Get a Neck Massage
Whether you suffer from chronic neck pain or it’s simply been a hectic week, a neck massage could be just what the doctor ordered. Stop in at Freedom Health Centers today to discuss your desired outcome with a massage therapist and receive a perfectly relaxing massage for your needs.
Schedule Massages During Pregnancy
A back and neck massage can work wonders for sore muscles at any time, but it’s especially beneficial when you’re pregnant. Pregnancy changes your body’s center of gravity and causes muscles in your neck and back to readjust to the new weight, resulting in aches and pains.
For help getting through the second half of your pregnancy, visit Freedom Health Centers for relaxing massages. We can ease your pain without the need to take medication that could potentially harm the fetus.
Take Special Precautions if You Play Sports
According to Everyday Health, neck injuries are common among athletes. To help prevent hurting yourself while playing your favorite sport, try these tips:
- Warm up by stretching every major muscle group in your body.
- Wear protective head gear when playing contact sports.
- Change activities if the sport you play tends to cause neck pain.
- Seek injury prevention services from Freedom Health Centers.
The primary reasons to exercise may be to tone your arms, legs and core, but stronger neck and shoulder muscles also result from regular exercise. You’re less likely to injure your neck when the muscles are strong. Rowing exercises are ideal for strengthening your neck.
Of course, regular exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight. Health Central points out how this is important to neck health: having lighter arms and a more toned chest puts less stress on your shoulders and neck, decreasing the likelihood of neck pain.
At Freedom Health Centers, we offer a variety of services to ease chronic and acute pain and help you take special care of your neck. Contact us online or call us at (972) 542-3300 today to learn more about how we can help.