Preventing neck pain is important because your neck has the great responsibility of keeping your head up and moving. This is hard to do when your neck is aching, stinging or burning. Neck pain can be caused by something minor, such as sleeping in the wrong position, or something major, such as whiplash or an injury.
While major causes of neck pain, such as whiplash or injury, cannot always be avoided, there are a few steps you can take to help prevent neck pain from developing due to minor, daily causes. Take a moment to read about how you can combat some of the most common causes of neck pain.
Prevent neck pain with some simple exercises
Perform these simple exercises for a few minutes every other day of the week to help your neck develop stronger muscles and prevent pain:
- Chin tuck — Stand up straight, using a wall to help if you need to, and pull your head and shoulders backward while keeping your chin tucked down. You should feel the muscles in the sides of your neck stretching. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat ten times.
- Seated neck release — Sit with your spine straight. Keep your left arm on your lap and raise your right arm over your head and gently pull your head to the right. Hold this for 30 seconds and then switch arms and repeat on the other side of your neck.
- Hands-behind-back stretch — Stand up straight and place your hands behind your lower back. Grab your left wrist with your right hand and gently pull your left arm away from your body until you feel your neck stretching. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat with your other arm.
Preventing neck pain with proper posture
The average human head weighs ten to eleven pounds. All of this weight balances on top of the bones and muscles that make up your neck. When you slouch or hold your head forward, you increase the stress on your spine and neck muscles, which can lead to neck pain.
To help prevent pain, keep your spine straight and your shoulders lined up with your ears.
Knock out neck pain by sleeping well
Many of your neck pain problems can disappear by simply sleeping better. Your pillow and sleeping position can be primary causes of neck pain.
Sleeping on your back is good for your neck and entire spine. If you sleep on your back, you should try resting your arms on pillows to help relieve some strain from your neck. A flatter pillow can also be helpful to for keeping your spine aligned.
If you prefer sleeping on your side, you should use a pillow that is 4-6 inches thick. Anything bigger or smaller may put your neck in a strained position leading to pain.
Preventing neck pain with professional help
Licensed professional physical therapists can help you relieve your neck pain and take steps to prevent it from happening again. If you’re having trouble with neck pain and want help, contact the experts at Arrow Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment!
If you live in New Jersey, visit us at any of our offices located in Edison, Woodbridge and Union.