If you didn’t know, neck pain is VERY common! According to one study, 10-21% of the population will experience an episode of neck pain EACH YEAR with a higher incidence among office workers. Between 33-65% will recover within one year, but most cases become “chronic, recurrent” meaning will neck pain will come and go as it pleases with no time period of ever stopping. Here are some tips below to teach us what to do to prevent these episodes:
1. SLEEP: A cervical pillow can help the neck be fully supported while you sleep. It keeps you head in alignment with your spine. If possible, try sleeping on your back too!
2. OFFICE: Position the computer so it’s slightly below eye level and straight in front of you. The “KEY” point is to feel comfortable with the height of the monitor. Keep your chin “tucked in” so the weight of your head stays back over your shoulders—this will help your lower back and neck muscles to hold your head upright. You can also set a timer on your cell phone to remind you to get up and move around every 30-60 minutes.
3. TELEPHONE: If you are using the phone a lot during the day, A HEADSET WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE! Pinching between your neck and ear WILL cause you to have neck problems!
4. EXERCISE: The more physically active you are, the less likely you are to report neck pain.
5. NUTRITION: Search for information on the “anti-inflammatory diet.” This food includes fruits, veggies, and lean meat, with a few other twists. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day.
6. LIFT/CARRY: A heavy purse, brief case, or roller bag can really hurt your neck. Take ONLY what’s needed and put your secondary bag in the car or wherever you can access it later. A backpack is also preferred to be used over a heavy briefcase.
7. SELF-MASSAGE: Reach back and dig your fingers into your neck muscles and “work” the tight fibers back and forth to loosen them up. You can also roll your head over the top edge of a chair by sliding down until the top of the chair back rests in your neck. Work those tight fibers loose!
8. WHIPLASH: If you’re injured, SEEK HELP! Those who seek chiropractic care shortly after an accident has LESS long-term trouble!
This health update article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Mark Giust of Giust Chiropractic Center in Brookhaven, MS. If you’re in the Brookhaven or surrounding areas, he’d love to be considered for your chiropractic needs.