Summer is just around the corner! After these long Canadian winters, we all want to get outside and make the most of the warm weather. But nothing puts a stop to our sunny ambitions like uncomfortable neck stiffness.
Besides side-lining our plans for an afternoon of golf or hiking in the woods, neck pain can point to more serious health problems. But as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
There are several easy ways we can keep neck pain at bay and enjoy all the active fun summer has to offer.
We’ve all been reminded of our posture since we were teenagers, as it is important. Poor posture is one of the most common causes of chronic neck stiffness and spinal pain.
While in your office chair or on your couch, pay attention to your shoulders and neck. If you notice yourself slouching, roll your shoulders back and down to heighten your neck.
We spend a third of our lives sleeping. If we spend that time with the wrong pillow, it can exacerbate neck stiffness and spinal discomfort.
When looking for a better pillow, think about your sleep style. If you sleep on your side, look for a firmer pillow. For back sleepers, a thin pillow can keep your head from leaning too far forward.
Our modern dependence on screens also takes a toll on our necks’ comfort. All that time spent looking down at smart phones or laptops promote a forward-leaning posture that puts undue stress on our vertebrae.
Adjusting your computer screen can do a lot to prevent undue neck strain.
Be mindful of how much time you spend looking down at your phone. Constant texting or web-surfing can distract us from realizing just how much time we’ve been craning our necks.
Your neck does a lot for you. Repay the favor every once in a while.
Heat can do wonders for a stiff neck. For quick relief, fill a tube sock with rice and warm it in the microwave.
For something a little more indulgent, treat yourself to a massage.
This might seem like common sense, but proper stretching is easy to neglect. The long winter months spent sedentary can make us over eager to get right back to action once the sun comes out.
Stretching lengthens our muscles and prepares them for more strenuous use. If we jump into our activities without stretching, our muscles can be strained past their comfort limits, leading to injuries.
Be patient. Take a couple minutes to stretch, and avoid bigger problems later on.
These tips can prevent a lot of trouble, but they might not be enough in all cases. Chronic neck pain can become a major problem if untreated.
If you’ve been experiencing long-term neck pain without relief, you might want to consider a more extensive treatment. At MedRehab, we offer a variety of treatments to get you out of pain and living the life you want.
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