Neck pain might result from hours of sitting with your back hunched over your laptop. Simply put, the pain arises mainly due to poor posture. However, the bigger issue is ignoring it and waiting for it to aggravate. Perhaps applying a spray will temporarily reduce the pain, but as soon as the spray’s effects wear off, the discomfort will return. That’s why, following a few tips and avoiding leading an unhealthy lifestyle will help you get rid of neck pain permanently and prevent it from developing into a chronic problem.
So, how to ease neck pain?
Health Shots reached out to Dr Deepak Kumar Mishra, Asian Hospital, Faridabad, to find out how you can relieve neck pain at home.
Dr Mishra says, “Neck pain is common and many people may experience it occasionally. In most cases, it is the result of poor posture – either leaning over a computer for long hours or hunching over a workbench, overuse, or sleeping in an awkward position. Sometimes, neck pain can be a result of an injury or a medical condition.”
Causes of neck pain
Before you find the solutions, let us learn about some of the common causes of neck pain, which include:
1. Poor posture: Muscle strains are frequently caused by poor posture or misuse, such as spending hours hunched over a computer or smartphone. Even minor things like reading in bed can result in strain and cause neck pain.
2. Wear and tear of joints: The neck’s joints deteriorate with age, much like other joints in the body do. This age-related wear and tear results in bone spurs that can affect neck movement and cause pain.
3. Injuries: Whiplash injuries are when the head suddenly moves backward and then forward, leading to neck pain.
4. Compressed nerves: Bone spurs or herniated disks in the neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
5. Disease: Neck pain can be brought on by a number of illnesses, such as meningitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or cancer.
9 tips to get rid of neck pain
Most neck pain is due to improper posture combined with age-related wear and tear. To stay away from neck pain, follow some simple changes in your daily routine and always remember to keep your head centered over your spine.
1. Correct your posture
Dr Mishra says, “Ensure your shoulders are in a direct line over your hips and ears are aligned directly over your shoulders while sitting or standing.” In fact, even while using electronic devices like cell phones, tablets, or other small screens, do not bend your neck to look down at the device, rather hold the device up in line with your head. Moreover, adjust your work table, computer, and chair so as to maintain the monitor at eye level with knees slightly lower than hips. Make use of chair armrests.
2. Take frequent breaks
If you drive long distances or work for hours in front of the screen, move around and stretch your neck and shoulders at frequent intervals.
3. Avoid carrying a heavy weight on shoulders
Avoid heavy backpacks over your shoulders and even hands. The weight can strain your shoulders and cause neck pain.
4. Sleep in a comfortable position
Your head and neck should be in line with the rest of your body. Support your neck with a small pillow and try sleeping on your back with thighs elevated on pillows, which will flatten your spinal muscles.
5. Avoid using a pillow
If your neck pain is not going away, you can try sleeping on a flat surface without a pillow. When you ditch the pillow, it keeps your head flat, and that instantly lessens the strain on your neck.
6. Lifestyle changes
Stay active. If you don’t happen to move around much, increase your activity level. Avoid smoking as it can increase the risk of developing neck pain.
Working from home or sitting a long time working on a laptop can lead to neck pain. However, quick stretching exercises can relieve neck stiffness. Perform the shoulder roll, side rotation, dolphin posture, forward and backward tilts, and so on.
8. Cold compress
To relieve neck pain and lessen any swelling or inflammation, you can use both ice and heat compress. It assists with muscular easing and reduces stiffness. Don’t use this technique for more than 20 minutes.
Doing massage therapy for neck pain can help relax muscles and help reduce the severity of acute neck pain. Additionally, it increases blood flow and decreases stress and anxiety symptoms.
Neck pain typically doesn’t require medical attention and can be resolved in a few days. It’s time to contact your doctor if the pain persists for an extended period of time, is severe, or is accompanied by additional symptoms like numbness, weakness, or tingling, or if it spreads to the arms or legs.