Muscle strain and pain in the neck are often the results of an underlying issue, such as arthritis, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, etc. It can sometimes be triggered by trauma, although it can also occur for no apparent reason. Regardless of whether you woke up with neck pain or it is from a chronic condition, here are a few tips that will help you prevent pain in the future and possibly ease the pain you're experiencing.
Sleep on Your Back
Sleeping on your back is the best position for your spine. Some individuals find that it is most effective to sleep on their back with a pillow under either arm, as this helps to take strain off of their neck. Some people prefer to sleep at a slight incline. You can either opt for an adjustable bed, or you can use a foam wedge pillow to give you that incline.
If you are someone who just cannot sleep on their back and must sleep on their side, there are options for you to make things work. You will simply want to ensure that your pillow is not too thick/high. A good rule of thumb is about five inches, as this will keep your neck and head from bending or turning unnaturally. Ideally, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable in bed; otherwise, you will be in pain.
Keep Your Computer Monitor Eye Level
When you are sitting in front of a computer, it is important that your monitor is eye level. Sit down at your desk, close your eyes, and then open them. If you are not looking within the top one-third of the screen, then your computer monitor needs to be raised up or down. If you are using a laptop, you are likely gazing downward. Therefore, you should consider connecting it to a separate monitor or setting it on top of something so that you are not straining when using the computer.
Take Care When Texting
Texting is something that takes up a large part of the day, so it is imperative that you ensure you are not putting unnecessary strain on your neck. When texting, you are usually looking down at your phone, which places significant stress on your neck, leading to premature degenerative changes. Raise your phone up so that you aren't looking down when texting and take breaks from texting.
There are many reasons why you should make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and hydrating the discs in your neck and spine is just another reason. Water makes up a large portion of these discs, so ensuring that you are well hydrated each day will keep them strong and pliable. You can sip on water throughout the day, or set an alarm for every two hours to remind you to drink a glass of water.
For more neck pain prevention tips, or if you are experiencing neck pain that you can't seem to get rid of, reach out to a local chiropractor.