Continuing on from my last post about simple changes to help yourself, lets combine that with this months theme of neck pain. Pain in your neck could be coming from the joints, nerves or muscles and can present in a number of ways, it is quite common to have pain in both the neck and shoulder on the same side as so many muscles span them both.
Indications that you may need help with your neck pain are: if you are getting numbness or pins and needles down the arm or into the hand; if you are unable to move your neck as far as you usually can in any direction or if you are feeling persistent or intermittent pain in your neck.
1. What can you do to help yourself? Make sure you are using the right pillow. If you have been using the same pillow for years, it is time for an upgrade. Keep in mind that you want your neck to be in a neutral position. If you sleep on your side, you will need a thick pillow, or two pillows to ensure that your neck is not bending towards your shoulder and compressing your neck. If you sleep on your back you want your head to be fully supported so that your neck is not extended backwards.
2. Is your car seat set up correctly for you? If you share a car with your partner, make sure you take the time to put the seat into the correct position for you, if you are too far away from the steering wheel then you will lean forward and your neck will push forwards, putting pressure onto the joints.
3. Is your computer set up correctly for you? The same as the car, take a moment and think about how your computer is set up. You should be able to look directly at your screen without tilting your head. If you need to raise the screen then put some books underneath it or get a stand. Laptop user? Buy a wireless keyboard and mouse and raise your screen, it will be worth it!
4. Stretch your neck! Just stretching the muscles gently a few times a day can make a big difference, make sure you hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds and don’t wrench your neck around.
Most neck pain responds well to treatment, give us a call to see what we can do to help you. Kate