In today’s article we’ll be talking about neck pain. Everyone has had it, it’s annoying, a pain to deal with and just seems to never go away.
Hopefully, what I share today will help you treat and eventually cure your neck pain fast. Any exercises or stretches mentioned in the article can be done at home, no special equipment needed.
If you find that nothing you do reduces the pain, visit your doctor as soon as you can for further advice.
First thing we should talk about is posture. Bryan Renwand from promedicahealthconnect.org, discusses how proper posture can cure your neck pain fast.
Relieve Back and Neck Pain With Better Posture
Low back pain and neck pain account for about half of the patients that I see in physical therapy. Back and neck pain can be complicated and there are many possible causes. Each cause has an individual course of treatment, but I tend to work on posture and body mechanics with a vast majority of my patients. Here are some things you can work on and apply to everyday life.
When You Work At A Desk
This is especially important for people who work a desk job. Try and get up and walk every 30 minutes to an hour or look into a sit-to-stand workstation. (Learn more about the effects of sitting in this article.)
Here is a checklist to allow for best sitting posture:
- You should be able to sit upright with your knees and hips at 90-degree angles and feet on the floor.
- Your computer monitor should be at eye level.
- Keep your shoulders at your sides and not rounded, your elbows bent at approximately 90 degrees and wrists near neutral (not hyper extended).
- Keep commonly used items within arm’s reach (i.e. telephone, pens, calculator) and move other objects away (i.e. calendar, pictures, clutter) for a better set-up.
- Also, if your chair doesn’t have a good lumbar support, add a lumbar pillow. This can also be useful in your vehicle.
I’m sure everyone has heard “Bend with your legs!” This is truly important. Many back injuries are caused from flexing the trunk, especially when combined with lifting and/or twisting.
Whether it’s a heavy box or your child, when lifting, remember:
- Keep the weight close to your body and feet near shoulder-width apart.
- Avoid twisting when carrying excessive loads; pivot at your feet instead.
- Do not bend at the waist, rather bend at the hips and knees.
- Keep your abdominals tight for support, but be sure to not hold your breath.
Maybe your posture isn’t the problem, in that case try these 3 steps by J.M. Cooper from http://pazoo.com/ to treat your neck pain.
How To Relieve Neck And Back Pain In 3 Easy Steps
Ten minutes to loosen up and enjoy the holiday season even more.
We all get tense around the holidays and for those who spend hours every day sitting or standing or long periods driving, the discomfort and pain can add up and can cause some significant problems. Getting into the habit of stretching every day, giving yourself a couple breaks every few hours, is a great step in alleviating your pain and even preventing it. If you try these easy stretches, as seen on The Huffington Post, for 30 to 60 seconds each, three times over, it would only take you about 10 minutes total. Pretty easy solution!
Lunge With Chest Expansion
1. Step right foot forward and left foot back. Deeply bend front knee so it comes directly above the ankle. Clasp your hands behind your back and lift your chest.
2. Slowly fall forward over your right thigh, keeping your hands clasped behind your back. Maintain a neutral spine by keeping your gaze down toward the floor. Draw shoulder blades together and keep core engaged the entire time.
3. Hold position for 30 seconds to one minute on each side.
Straddle with Shoulder Opener
1. Stand with feet wider than hip-width. Deeply bend both knees and shift your hips back. Place hands on your thighs with fingers pointed inward.
2. Drop right shoulder to the midline of your body pressing into your thigh for leverage. Come back to center and drop left shoulder to the midline of your body. Maintain a strong core and keep glutes engaged the entire time for additional support.
3. Continue to alternate for 30 seconds to one minute.
1. Stand with feet wider than hip-width. Turn right toes out and left toes inward. Extend arms up to shoulder height.
2. Begin to shift torso forward over right leg until torso is parallel with the ground. Place hand above or below your knee. Extend left arm up toward the sky.
3. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute each side.
* You can always gaze at the floor to release all tension in the neck.
I bet your neck is feeling a lot better now. If you find yourself still in pain and you’re a smoker, there is new evidence now linking smoking cigarettes to degenerative disc disease which could explain the pain you’re feeling. Check out this post by the Science Daily, which goes into more detail.
Smoking Cigarettes Can Be a Chronic Pain in Your Neck
Adding to the already length list of reasons not to smoke, researchers have connected smoking to worsening degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine, according to research presented this week at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Sacramento, Calif.
The cervical spine is located in the neck and is made up of bones called vertebrae. Between these bones are cervical discs that absorb shock to the spine. Through the normal aging process, these discs slowly degenerate, which means they become dehydrated and shrink.
This may result in a person experiencing chronic neck pain that may be difficult to treat. In some cases, the drying of the disc may result in the formation of cracks and tears, through which some of the jelly-like central portion of the disc may spill out and irritate local nerves, which much of the time results in pain in the shoulders, arms, hands and fingers.
It isn’t only wear and tear over time that can damage these discs. Some unhealthy habits, such as smoking, can add to cervical disc degeneration, according to Mitchel Leavitt, MD; resident physician at Emory University’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the lead investigator of a new study looking at smoking and cervical disc disease.
“Smoking is not healthy for a person’s intervertebral discs given the risk of developing microvascular disease — a disease of the small blood vessels — due to nicotine abuse,” Dr. Leavitt explains. “Intervertebral discs receive their nourishment from the microvasculature that line the endplates on either side of each disc; when these blood vessels are damaged, the discs do not receive nourishment and this may speed up the degenerative process.”
Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP). “Smoking Cigarettes Can Be a Chronic Pain in Your Neck.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160218062227.htm>.
Follow the steps above and your neck pain will be a thing of the past. If the pain is chronic book an appointment with your doctor, this might be a sign of something more serious.