Everyone experiences cervical or neck pain from time to time. It could be due to a bad sleeping position or being in a hunched over sitting position at work. Neck pain from such issues is usually due to an irritation of soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. However common neck pain may be, it is a good idea to prevent irritating your neck, so you can sleep and function without pain.
Here are a few tips for preventing cervical (neck) pain.
Change Your Pillow
Your neck has to maintain its natural curve while you sleep to avoid waking up with neck pain. Choose the right pillow that will support your neck while you sleep. There are pillows designed for orthopedic comfort. A pillow that works for another person may not work for you as your sleep preferences and body size may differ. Consult an expert to steer you in the direction toward the right pillow for you.
Sleep on Your Back
Sleeping on your back with a pillow underneath your head and neck is the best position for your spine. It reduces pressure on your neck as well as the lower spine. Some people find it more comfortable to sleep with a pillow under their arms. Find what’s comfortable for you and stick to it.
Adjust Your Chair Height
A hunched-over position is usually a result of a computer that is too low, causing you to extend your neck and look down, which can also strain your eyes. Bring your sitting position up to level by raising your monitor or by choosing a desk with the right height. When you look at your computer, your gaze should be in the top-third of the screen.
Avoid Looking Down on Your Phone or Book
The act of looking down to text or read a message or scroll through your phone can put excessive strain on your neck. Try bringing the phone up to eye level to avoid neck pain. When taking a call, use a headset or earphones instead to avoid a neck-bending position. Similarly, reading can also cause neck pain due to the book being positioned low. Bring the book to eye level using a book stand.
Exercise Your Neck
Neck exercises can improve neck strength, flexibility, and range of motion and keep the head properly aligned. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and stretch your neck muscles and prevent neck pain. Make sure to do your exercises routinely at home for better results.
Neck Pain Treatment at Watauga Orthopaedics
If pain in your neck is starting to interfere with your daily life, the team of specialists at Watauga Orthopaedics can relieve your pain, restore your neck’s normal function, and prevent a recurrence. Our team consists of orthopaedic doctors who are fellowship-trained in spine surgery (making them experts in treating cervical pain) and physical therapists (for rehabilitation).
To request an appointment with any of our orthopaedic doctors, call (423) 282-9011 or use our convenient online form. We look forward to seeing you in our Johnson City, Kingsport, or Bristol clinic.