Something as simple as too many pillows or an outdated eyeglass prescription can add strain on your neck, which can load your day down with pain. Sometimes, fixing a chronic ache or pain is as easy as making a small change to your routine.
Addressing these things now, when neck pain is an annoyance, can save you more serious health problems down the road. If those issues have already begun, then Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine Center is standing by and ready to help. Abhishiek Sharma, MD, and Erik Curtis, MD, are neck pain experts, able to diagnose and treat your condition, no matter how mild or serious. Before you book an appointment, consider these four simple life changes to relieve your neck pain.
Resetting your posture
If you’ve ever had an elementary school teacher telling you to sit up straight, it’s time again to heed their words for your own good. Poor posture habits can be the culprit behind many musculoskeletal problems, particularly if you’re in a job requiring long hours in a single position, either sitting or standing.
Regardless of how good the ergonomics of your workplace are, pain-free living depends on efficiently using your skeleton and its support system. When you’re seated, your feet should be flat on the floor (or a raised support if necessary), with your knees bent close to a 90-degree angle. Level your hips and press the small of your back into the lumbar support of your chair.
Computer monitors are best located at or just below eye level and at a distance that’s easy for you to see without dropping your chin, leaning back, or slouching forward. Arms are also bent at a 90-degree angle to operate your keyboard, shoulders are back, and your head balances on the top of your spine.
Standing is much the same. Set your feet at hip width with knees slightly bent. Stand straight with shoulders back and head balanced. Whenever possible, maintain arm and eye positions as you would at a desk.
It’s easy to set your posture. It’s not as easy to maintain it when you are busy and concentrating. If needed, set timers at 20-minute intervals to reset your neutral posture. Give it a month, and it may well be a new and healthy habit.
Move it or lose it
Your body is made to move. Set an additional timer on the hour to alter your position. It’s another way to reset your posture. If you’re sitting, stand and walk around. When you stand, sit down, and then walk before you return to your station. On breaks, consider relaxing in the opposite orientation from your work position.
Maintaining a consistent sleep pattern is another way to generate multiple health benefits. The right pillow can make all the difference on your neck. While a big stack of fluffy support may feel great when you’re reading before sleep, drop the count down to one supportive pillow when it’s time for shut-eye. Train yourself away from stomach sleeping, which is the worst for the cervical spine of the neck. If you already have chronic neck issues, a supported incline position may help relieve symptoms.
Manage your stress
There’s no avoiding the stresses of everyday life. You can, however, mitigate them by practicing stress management activities. Mindful meditation and moderate exercise help your body cope with the chemical changes caused by stress, while healthy eating assures the nutrition that minimizes inflammation and other physical stresses on your body.
The right solution is the one that you can maintain within your lifestyle. When you need assistance, contact us by phone or online at Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine Center. An investment in your body pays dividends when neck pain becomes a memory. Book your consultation now.