Neck pain is a common, unpleasant sensations, and it’s becoming increasingly more common. Sometimes referred to as “tech neck,” a stiff, sore neck is often the result of hunching over a laptop or desktop computer for long periods of time. It can also occur if you’re like me and cradle your cell phone between your ear and shoulder. Other common causes are sleeping in an awkward position, frequently carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder or just bad posture.
There are a few things you can do to avoid this neck pain and/or to remedy it if you are already experiencing it.
A lot of neck and shoulder pain occurs because of stress. When we worry about something, most of us get tense and don’t realize it. That tension normally gathers in the neck, shoulders and sometimes the forehead. This is why on top of being anxious about something, we often get aches and headaches as well.
Try to keep your computer and books at eye-level when using or reading them. I know with a laptop this can be difficult, but it will keep you from hunching over your screen which will keep you from doing damage to your neck.
If your posture is the culprit, you’ve got to straighten up (literally) for your neck to feel any better. I know trying to correct posture is, well, a pain in the neck, but if you don’t you're going to have aches and pains for years to come. Some circulation and breathing problems have even been linked to something as simple as poor posture.
I know I write about it a lot, but yoga is one of the best exercise programs to help correct posture and to strengthen the core muscles, so you have the strength to maintain that correct posture. Plus, it will help strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles as well. You will have to be careful with some poses if you’re already suffering from neck pain to avoid doing further damage. Things like shoulder stands should be avoided if your neck is bothering you.
No one likes going, but if your neck pain just isn’t going away and/or you’re experiencing other symptoms with it, you should make a trip to the doctor just to make sure it isn’t something more serious.
Avoiding neck pain really isn’t that difficult. We just have to be mindful of how we are treating our neck and make sure we take care of it. Like everything else, it’s easier to make good habits now than to have to try to reverse the effects of poor habits when we’re older. So prop that laptop up a little higher on your desk, sit up straight, and take some deep breaths. You’ll be glad you did.
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