Updated: August 2018
We think it’s a safe statement to make that the majority of people reading this will have run into some neck pain in the morning after waking up or a strain from some kind of activity.
Where does this neck pain come from? Well, it usually comes about from the tendons, muscles, and ligaments (also known as the soft tissues) take are in and around the neck region.
Should you be experiencing some troubles with neck pain, you can take note of these tips below to reduce and prevent it in future.
#1 – Keep a Supportive Posture
By having a low-quality posture, it can result in neck pain through the straining of the muscles and ligaments that help to support the neck. This can lead to an injury, sooner or later.
The posture known to be the leading example that brings about neck pain is the ‘head-and-shoulders-forward’ one. This happens when your neck adopts a slant forwards and places the head in front of your shoulders.
Something that may come as a shock to you is that for each inch your head shifts forwards, an additional 10lbs (4.5kg) is applied to your muscles in the upper back and neck areas. So, just by moving your head four inches and you suddenly create an extra 40lbs (18kg) of force!
By having this posture, it causes a knock-on effect causing the upper back to slump forward, therefore introducing a strain on your entire spine.
If you realise this is something that you do, an easy way to prevent this from happening is to have your chin remained tucked inward.
#2 – Use the Right Pillows
You can find lots of information on this subject on TheSleepAdvisor website. They regularly discuss the benefits of adding comfort and support for your neck during sleep.
When it comes to choosing new pillows, it’s a case of trial and error to find what’s best for you. You typically want to opt for a pillow that allows your cervical spine to stay in neutral alignment; by doing this your neck’s natural curve remains and is supported.
You have an assortment of options in the pillow stakes, and the chances are that the pillow to come out on top for you will typically be determined based on the cause of your neck issues as teamed with your sleep preferences.
Most of the time, people change their sleep position throughout the night, so with this in mind, it’s worth considering that your pillows cover off each of your sleep positions to avoid further problems.
#3 – Don’t Let Smartphone Use Give you Neck Strain
When you look down at your smartphone or tablet for periods of time any length of time puts excessive strain on your neck.
Studies show that we check our phones over 10,000 times a year, so consider the previous point about the strain on the neck from having the head leaning in front of the shoulders, and you’ve all of a sudden put some serious strain on your neck and spine all year long!
The effects of this, over time, with the additional stress applied to the neck’s discs, the joints and the ligaments can lead to early deteriorating changes in your neck.
If you want to avoid this happening then you should consider raising your device up to eye level when you look at it, or, more ideally, reduce the amount of time that you spend staring at your screens.
#4 – Keep Your Computer Screen at Eye Level
Test out your setup by sitting comfortably in front of your computer and then closing your eyes. Open them again and look right at the middle of the monitor/screen; if you’re not looking right at the center of the screen, then you should make adjustments so that you are doing so in future.
Many people use laptop stands these days to bring the screen’s height up to a safe level to prevent the onset of injury and strains because as you will probably be aware, laptops normally need you to tilt downward to see the screen, which isn’t good for injury prevention.