Neck pain is one of the most common injuries that we see here at Back To Health Physio. In fact, 70% of us will experience neck pain at some point in our lifetime. Therefore, it pays to know a few things that can help you deal with neck pain or better still, reduce your chance of getting neck pain in the first place.
Posture: Posture contributes immensely to someone’s chances of getting neck pain. Those with rounded shoulders and/or a “chin-out” type head and neck position are most commonly seen with neck pain. To correct this posture, aim to tuck your chin in and bring shoulder blades “back and down”. People may think that it makes you look like you have a double chin (and in some cases it does), but in fact that’s exactly what we as physios are after in terms of your head position.
Computer work: People spend hours at a time on their computers at home and/or at work these days, and often our posture suffers as a result of it. Using laptops resting on the users lap will cause neck pain in most people after only a short period, it causes us to look down at the screen which naturally forces our neck out of its “chin-in” position and puts too much load on the muscles and ligaments in the area. Desktop computers can do the same thing unless they are set up at the desk properly. The screen should be at eye level and the keyboard and mouse should be able to be brought close to the body so we don’t have to reach out and lose our correct shoulder positioning.
Pillow: Always choose a pillow, which keeps your head and neck in a neutral position. This means keeping your head and neck relatively parallel with the mattress in whatever position you sleep in. Generally firm pillows are better for this, however everyone is different and you need to test out a few and see for yourself.
Neck pain can get worse and take longer to treat if not treated as early as possible, therefore don’t wait around to see if it will go away by itself, because in most cases it won’t.