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Some Useful Tips to Ease Neck Pain: (Part 2)

neck pain

5. Do neck exercises. Two types of neck exercises can help ease and prevent neck pain: gentle range-of-motion exercises and isometric exercises. Apply moist heat to the neck before performing the exercises. Each exercise should be done five times per session, three sessions per day.

Range-of-motion exercises help stretch neck muscles. Sit erect but relaxed. Slowly turn your head to the right as far as you can, hold, and return it to the centre. Repeat to the left. Then drop your chin down slowly toward your chest, hold, and relax. Bring your head back up. Now tilt your head toward your left shoulder, hold, and return to the centre. Do the same on the right side.

Isometric exercises are performed against resistance but without actually moving your head. Try this routine:

· Sit erect and relaxed, hold your hand up to your forehead, and press your forehead into your palm, using your palm to resist the motion.

· Place your right hand against the right side of your head, and press your head against your hand (as if trying to bring your right ear to your right shoulder), but use your hand to resist your head's motion. Do the same on the left side.

· Press both hands against the back of your head as you try to push your head backward; resist your head's backward motion with your hands.

· Press your hand against the right side of your face as you try to turn your head to look over your right shoulder; use your hand to resist the turning motion. Repeat, pressing your left hand to the left side of your face as you attempt to look over your left shoulder.

6. Strengthen stomach muscles. Just as poor posture and obesity can cause straining of the neck muscles; poor tone in the stomach muscles forces the upper back to curve farther backward and the neck to curve forward. Do exercises such as bent-knee curls (they're basically sit-ups, but you only lift your head and upper back, rather than your whole back, off the ground) to strengthen abdominal muscles.

7. Try sleeping on a firm mattress without a pillow or with a special neck pillow.

Sometimes pain starts with the bang of a rear-end collision, but more often, the neck and its surrounding structures begin to ache after years of normal use, overuse, and misuse. Without knowing it, you may be encouraging neck and shoulder pain by the way you perform everyday activities. In general, try to keep your neck in a neutral position, which means your head balances directly over your shoulders and is not leaning forward or cocked to one side. Here are eight hints for achieving a healthy neck posture while performing everyday activities.

1. At the computer or desk. When working at the computer or at a desk, keep your head balanced directly over your spine as much as possible. That means setting your chair height so both feet rest on the ground, and sitting with your buttocks far back in your chair, using a small pillow to support your lower back if needed. Properly adjusting the keyboard and monitor may be difficult or impossible with a laptop computer.

 You can plug a separate, full-size keyboard into a laptop to help you achieve better positioning. But no matter how perfect your office-chair posture, it’s important to get up, stretch, and move around every half hour. If you tend to get lost in your work, program your computer to flash a reminder.

2.Telephone use. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, try to avoid leaning your head to one side. This is also important when you use a cell phone and aren’t sitting at your desk while you speak. A headset or speakerphone is a good option to help keep your head in a neutral position for hands-free talking. Headsets are available for both your desk phone and cell phone.

3. Reading at home. If you are sitting in a chair, try to maintain an upright posture. Hold the book so that you don’t have to lean down or forward to see it. A pillow on your lap may help. If you must read in bed, sit up straight or use a specially designed wedge pillow. Or lie on your side with your neck straight and hold the book in front of you.

4.Walking. Avoid high heels, which change the alignment of your body from the ground up, characteristically ending in a head-thrust-forward position that stresses neck muscles. This may be one reason women have neck pain more than men do.

5. Carrying a bag. Choose a lightweight purse or backpack, and don’t overload. Don’t sling a backpack over one shoulder. Try switching to a fanny pack or a backpack designed to put weight on the hips instead of just the upper back. With heavier loads, use a wheeled pack or briefcase. If you must hoist a purse on your shoulder, alternate which shoulder you use.

6. Driving. Posture is a factor in whether a collision will cause whiplash. Your headrest should be high enough and close enough to catch your head in a rear-end collision. Position the seat so you can sit up straight with your head no more than two to four inches in front of the headrest. Adjust the headrest so its upper edge is level with the top of your head: the back curve of your skull should meet the cushion of the headrest.

7. Lifting. Improper lifting techniques put stress on the neck as well as the lower back. Bend your hips and knees instead of your back. Keep the object close to you while straightening your legs. When lifting something over your head, don’t tilt your neck backward. Strengthen your arms to make proper lifting easier.

8.Watching TV. Sit far enough from a TV or movie screen that you can watch without tilting your head back. Don’t sit off to the side, forcing you to turn your neck for long periods.


Sources:

health.howstuffworks.com

cidpusa.org


Other links:

Computers Can Be a Real Pain

After Exercise Headache

Types Of Headaches

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