The main job of the neck, or cervical spine, is to support the head. This is no small feat given that the head can weigh as much as 11 pounds. That’s why how you hold your head matters.
Neck pain can result from mechanical disorders, pinched nerves, osteoarthritis, and whiplash-related injuries. However, we are more likely to develop neck pain from static activities, such as driving, sitting in front of a computer screen, or scrolling through social media for prolonged periods of time. Neck strain also may occur after sleeping in an awkward position.
Follow these tips to help support your neck and prevent or reduce pain.
- Pay attention to your body to identify strain and stiffness and what may be the cause.
- Practice good posture; keep your back straight, chest up and neck upright. Stretch your back and shoulders and gently move your neck forward and back, and left and right often throughout the day.
- Be careful how you use your phone or tablet device. Cradling your phone while talking or bending the head forward while looking down to read a phone or tablet can contribute to neck strains or text neck.
- Don’t stay in one position for too long. Get up and move around often to avoid getting stuck in unhealthy positions.
- Sleep on your back or side with good support from your pillow and mattress.
- As with any other part of your body, daily exercises and stretches can keep the muscles in your neck strong and maintain cervical mobility.
Take Charge. Live Well!