Physio Neck Exercises Stretch & Relieve Routine
How to Prevent Neck Pain
With a few simple steps, you can work to prevent neck pain. From stretching to making a few changes with posture, incorporating some of these habits in your life may help you see a difference. As always, don't forget to talk to your doctor about the pain and before starting any new stretching regimen.
Paying Attention to Your Posture
Practice good posture.It doesn't matter whether you're in a chair or standing up, you should still have good posture. Your ears should be directly over your shoulders. In addition, your hips should be in direct alignment with your shoulders, meaning you need to stand up straighter if they're not. Adjusting your posture can help reduce neck pain over time.
- Also, make sure you draw your arms in close to your body when you're sitting at the computer or a table.
- It also helps to move your limbs so they are parallel to the floor when you're sitting. That is, your arms and wrists, as well as your thighs, should be parallel to the floor, not angled up or down.
Adjust your chair.To improve your sitting posture, you can adjust your chair and the way you sit. Adjusting your sitting posture can help reduce the likelihood of developing neck pain.
- For instance, make sure your chair is at the right height. As noted, your thighs should be parallel to the floor. You may need to move your office chair up or down to be in the right position.
- In addition, you should have a couple of inches of space between the back of the knees and your chair. If you don't have that, adjust the back of the chair if possible or even add a pillow to shift yourself forward.
- Move the arms to support your arms. Your arms should rest comfortably on the arms of the chair. You should not be bending over or feel like your arms are hanging down, or you may tense up your shoulders as a result and end up with neck pain.
- Try to pick a chair with a bit of back support. It should be slightly curved but not overly curved. Check to make sure it's comfortable.
Relax your shoulders.Whether you're on the computer or just reading or watching a movie, tensing up your shoulders can cause neck pain. When you feel yourself tensing, consciously relax your shoulders.
Don't use your neck as a crutch.That is, don't do things like hold the phone in the crook of your shoulder. Also, don't try to hold things under your chin. These movements can put strain on your neck.
- In addition, putting strain on your shoulders can also cause you neck pain. For instance, carrying a very heavy bag slung over your shoulder can cause neck pain.
Adjust your computer.It can be easy to strain your neck while on your computer. However, it's also easy to make adjustments and improve your posture. No matter what kind of computer you're using, it should be at a good viewing angle. In other words, you should adjust it so you don't need to bend your neck out of alignment to see the screen. The screen should be at eye level without you having to bend your neck up or down.
- One way to raise your computer monitor is to put large books underneath it. You can also by small shelves for your desk to raise the height.
- When sitting on the couch, consider using a pillow or lap desk to raise your laptop up.
Raise your book up.Just like when you're using a computer, you need to raise any reading material up when you're reading it. It should be at eye level. You don't want to bend your neck down to read it, as that can cause strain over time.
Improve "text neck." Like most people, you're probably attached to your smartphone most of the time. One problem that can come with this habit is neck pain, as you are hunched over looking at your phone. You can take a few steps to remedy the problem, though.
- Like your books and computers, make sure to hold it at a good viewing angle. It should be at eye level. You can even download an app to make sure you get it at the right angle. One to try is the Text Neck Indicator.
- It can help to use a docking station to hold the phone at the right viewing angle.
- Take breaks every 20 minutes to give yourself a chance to stretch.
Protect your neck when you sleep.Your sleeping posture can affect your neck just as much as your daytime posture. Therefore, you need to make sure you're sleeping in the best position to relieve your neck pain.
- Start by picking a good pillow. You want one that molds to the shape of your neck and head and that it doesn't push your head up too much, pushing your neck out of alignment. Memory foam pillows work well for this purpose. Feather pillows are also a good option, but if you get one, remember to replace it once a year.
- When on your side, you should use a pillow that pushes your neck higher than your head to keep your neck in alignment. However, make sure it's not too high, as that can push your spine out of alignment, too. A pillow that is too stiff can cause issues, too.
- Skip sleeping on your stomach, as it's hard on your back and neck. It's better to sleep on your side or back if possible.
- Try to get enough sleep. Most adults require about seven to eight hours of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can lead to more back and neck problems.
Using Neck Exercises
Try a neck turn.You can use this exercise anywhere to stretch out your neck, whether your standing or sitting. Simply turn your head to the left side, until your chin is over or nearly over your left shoulder. Hold it for about 20 seconds, then move to the right side and hold it for the same amount of time.
- Do about four sets of this exercise.
- To stretch your neck deeper, you can use your hand to gently push your head over.
Do head tilts.You can also do head tilts standing or sitting. Simply bend your head to the right towards your shoulder. Hold it for 20 seconds, then bend it towards the left shoulder and hold. Do about four sets of this exercise.
Use shoulder circles.Stand up for this exercise. Roll your shoulders back and then up and over in a forward circle. Keep rolling them forward for about 30 seconds. Move in circles the other direction, too.
Roll your neck.Start by sitting with your spine tall and straight. Begin by rolling your neck to your right. Roll it back towards the middle then over to the left. Finally, roll it back until you're looking at the ceiling.
- Make sure not to jerk with this exercise. Instead, do it in one fluid motion.
- Do it three times on each side.
Consider neck lifts.For this exercise, you need to be laying down flat on your back. With your shoulders flat on the floor, lift up your head. Lower it back down to the floor. Repeat three to four times, then do the same on each side, lifting your head up to the side.
Practicing Healthy Habits
Stop smoking.You, of course, know that smoking is detrimental to your health, from causing lung cancer to heart disease. You may not know that smoking can also lead to neck pain. If you have chronic neck pain, consider putting the cigarettes down.
- One way to help yourself quit is to tell your friends and family that you want to quit. They can help stop you when you start to light up without thinking. Telling them can also help them be more understanding with you while you're trying to quit.
- Try a medication. Nicotine patches or gum help many people to quit smoking.
Use dedicated reading glasses.Bifocals and trifocals can be very convenient. However, they can also put strain on your neck if you're leaning your head back to use them. A better option is switching to reading glasses when you need them so that you have your full range of vision.
- In addition, make sure to visit your eye doctor at least once a year to check up on your prescription. Otherwise, you may find yourself leaning over to read because your prescription is not current.
Be sure to take breaks.If you are constantly holding your neck in a certain position, it can be strain on your neck. Therefore, it's important to take breaks to move around and stretch your neck, shoulders, and back. Try to take a break at least once an hour.
QuestionWhat if you don't know what is causing a sore neck and it keeps coming back for a few days then going then coming back and nothing helps?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you have chronic neck pain, it's always best to talk to a doctor. Start with your main doctor, who can refer you if you need someone more specialized.Thanks!
I have shooting pains, not always in the same place. Mostly in my head and in my gut. First time it has happened in my neck. Help me out?
Video: How to Sleep to Avoid Neck Pain
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