5 Tips for Preventing Neck Pain

Your neck is not only responsible for supporting your head, but it also provides a wide range of motion. When neck pain strikes, the effect not only leads to discomfort, it can limit your life in some very serious ways.

As part of our wide range of services here at Summit Pain Alliance, our team of highly-skilled pain management experts believes that prevention through education is paramount. 

With that in mind, here are five easy tips that help prevent neck pain.

1. Beware of tech neck

If, like millions of others, you spend a fair amount of your day staring at screens, you run the risk of developing tech neck. Whether you’re hunched over your phone, at your desk, or working with your laptop, there are some strategies you should implement to safeguard your neck.

First, it’s important that you keep the screen at eye level. Second, make sure your screen is centered so that your neck isn’t turned to one direction for long periods. Third, make sure the lighting where you work is sufficient so that you’re not craning your neck toward the screen.

2. Watch your posture while talking on your phone

Gone are the days when you cradled a large phone between your ear and your shoulder, but cellphones can still force your head to one side. We recommend that you switch your cell phone from one ear to the other or use hands-free devices such as headphones when you talk on the phone.

3. Consider how you rest

When you sleep, you’re providing your body with an opportunity to rest and restore itself. To ensure that you’re not adding to its work, it’s important that you keep your spine in a neutral position, which means you shouldn’t use a pillow that pushes your head up too high. Instead, sleep with a pillow that keeps your neck aligned with your spine or one shaped to support your neck.

4. Stretch it out

One of the most important things you can do to prevent neck pain is to keep the supporting soft structures well stretched and flexible. Whether you work at a desk or you enjoy reading, relieve any tension that may build up in your neck and shoulders by gently stretching these structures for a few minutes each day. For example, bend your head toward one shoulder and slowly roll your head forward and around to the other shoulder.

5. Strengthen your neck

While your cervical spine is responsible for much of the support and mobility your head enjoys, it certainly doesn’t work alone. We recommend that you strengthen your supporting tissues, namely your muscles, so that you spread out the workload more evenly in your neck. We’re happy to help you find the right physical therapist who will give your neck the support it needs.

While the tips above go a long way toward preventing neck pain, if you’re developing stenosis, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, or any other problem in your cervical spine, early treatment is important. There’s much we can do to relieve your pain so that you can get on the road to recovery. Contact one of our two locations in Santa Rosa or Petaluma, California, to set up an appointment.

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