Neck pain is more prominent now than ever before. Our posture suffers from sitting too long at computers, and from personal devices that have consumed our lives. We don’t think about anything happening until we feel that pain, and the effects of it taking us away from our daily lives. We just want to get our lives back, right? Well here are 5 things that you can do to reduce the pain, and reclaim your life.
The heat/Ice conundrum rolls on. Ice or heat is one of the most frequent questions that I get. I understand that heat feels better than Ice, but what you need to understand is that heat will bring more blood flow to the area. Thus, you may be promoting more inflammation and pain. (if you’ve played sports and ever sprained your ankle, you don’t put heat on it. You wrap it in ice). The rule of thumb is to use Ice 24 to 48 hours after you have injury or pain. I promote Ice even longer for around the spine.
- Change The Way You Sleep.
The way you sleep has a major effect on neck pain. Rule of thumb here is “back is best”. The worst position is your stomach. Don’t believe me? Try taking a road trip and turn your head to look out the window for 6-10 hours straight. Sleeping on your side is somewhere in the middle. Here are some tips for sleeping:
- Use a thin, firmer style pillow.
- If you are a back sleeper, use just a roll type pillow that supports your neck and allow your head, shoulders, and hip is in a straight line.
- Side sleepers should make sure that their heads are 90 degrees to their shoulders, and a pillow can be placed between the legs to help with spinal alignment.
- Water and Magnesium.
Hydration and magnesium are huge in helping muscles and joints. Water helps your discs between the vertebrae in your neck stay healthy and maintain space. It helps to slow down degeneration as well. Drink a glass as soon as you wake up in the morning and try to get ½ to a 1 ounce of water per pound you weigh depending on your activity level. Magnesium comes into play because it controls the contraction and relaxation of your muscles in your body. If you are low on Mg, you are more likely to experience muscle strain. The best way to attain Mg is by getting it in your diet. Foods like spinach, Quinoa, Almonds, and Cashews are great ways to get magnesium. You may also want to purchase a high-quality supplement if you feel that you’re not getting enough through the food that you eat.
- Change The Way You Use Your Computer and Phone.
Raise your computer screen so your not looking down. Make sure it is in line with your eye line when looking straight ahead at your desk. You may want to raise it slightly higher. Be sure to take breaks from your phone. Stretch your neck after long sessions of looking down.
- Get Evaluated and Adjusted By A Chiropractor.
This is the most important because you can find out the underlying issue to the cause of the pain. If you have chronic neck pain, there may be areas of degeneration and arthritis. After years of damage, you may have lost the normal shape, and caused misalignment that puts pressure on the nerves. This is called Subluxation. A Corrective Care Chiropractor can help by showing you ways to restore the damage, as well as giving you exercises that are specific to your problem. This can help fight the ongoing stress that causes the damage in the first place.