As we start to get older, it’s perfectly normal for a few new aches and pains to start to develop. The body can’t work at peak capacity for years on end, and over time, certain muscles, joints, and tendons can start to wear down with the stresses of work, life, and age.
This process can most commonly be felt in the neck, with statistics showing that approximately 1 in 10 adults suffer from neck pain at any one time.
There might be many reasons for this, from injuries and disc herniation to spinal stenosis, whiplash, disc diseases, and more, and you may ultimately have to have surgery or non-operative treatment to soothe your neck pain.
However, in the meantime, there are many ways you can go about changing your lifestyle and adjusting your habits to be kinder to your neck and prevent these kinds of aches and pains from forming in the first place. Here are some useful tips for neck pain prevention.
Sleep on Your Back
We all tend to have our favorite sleeping positions. Some of us are side sleepers, resting gently on our sides to drift off to sleep, while others sleep on our stomachs or backs, or tend to roll around and change positions during the night.
If you want to be kind to your spine and gentle to your neck, sleeping on your back is the best choice. This allows the spine to rest comfortably, without any misalignment or excess pressure in any particular area, and many people with neck problems find immediate relief upon shifting their sleep patterns in this way.
Invest in New Pillows or a New Mattress
Sticking with the sleeping theme, as this is when your spine spends a lot of time recovering from the pressures of the day, you may also want to take a look at your current sleeping set-up and see if there isn’t something you’d like to change or improve about it.
If you’re sleeping on a mattress that is too soft or too firm, for example, it might not be quite right for your neck, or if you’re making do with old pillows that have lost their shape and fail to provide adequate support where you need it most, you may be putting extra pressure on parts of your body around the neck and shoulders. Getting a new mattress and some fresh pillows can make a real difference.
These days, many people lead sedentary lifestyles, spending a lot of time sitting down, either on their sofas to watch TV or at a desk to do their work. In either case, it’s important to make sure you’re sitting comfortably at all times to prevent excess pressure on the neck and reduce neck pain too.
Often, people who spend a lot of time on computers or laptops can suffer from neck pain as they tend to angle their heads to look down at the screen, so try and position yourself and your devices in a way where the display is at eye level, so you can keep your back and neck straight and see what you need to see. Make sure of firm, supportive chairs with headrest and consider making use of pillows or other items to provide extra support.
Exercises and Stretches
Many people like to look after their bodies, performing exercises to lose weight around their waist or muscle-enhancing movements for bigger biceps, but many people often overlook the neck while exercising. It’s important to focus on this part of the body and strengthen its muscles when you can, as it does a lot of hard work keeping your head upright throughout the day.
There are various neck stretches and exercises you can work into your daily routine, like side to side tilts, and you only need to do them for a few minutes a day to start noticing a difference. These stretches and movements can also really help out if you’re in a situation where your neck is worn out after a long day of work and you want to get some immediate relief.
The neck is a strong part of your body, but it puts up with an awful lot of strain, pressure, and movement throughout the average day, and if you don’t look after it well, pains and aches are going to be inevitable. Keep these useful tips in mind and start looking after your neck better, starting today, to avoid neck problems later in life.