Stretching inadequately, incorrectly, or not trying at all, not using the proper beds, seats, or chairs, not making sure to have a good posture while working – sounds something like what you do regularly? There is a high chance that you have chronic neck pains and stiff neck muscles, aren’t we right? Don’t worry, we got your back – quite literally!
It is common to have been feeling off or facing issues with their joints, muscles, or the whole musculoskeletal structure in general due to the sudden change in their lifestyle. The new way of working – working from home, has surly managed to disrupt not just our working practices, but also robbed us of the luxury of working in an office environment where we subconsciously or consciously tried to sit in good posture, look presentable, practice good working habits due to the people around us. While some were fast to adapt to this new way of living, many, under too much work or personal stress, didn’t focus on healthy practices, resulting in their body bearing the brunt. If you are one of those, we have compiled five good and healthy practices that you can inculcate in your daily working schedule to soothe your chronic neck pain.
1. Adjust your posture
Firstly, you must learn the correct posture that’s good for you during sitting, sleeping, standing, and using your gadgets. You can avoid a severe neck pain treatment requirement by just this one step (although we still advise you to see a professional if you face constant, chronic pain).
When sitting, always have your ears exactly above your shoulders, that is, don’t hunch too much over the table that you are working on. It doesn’t matter where you’re sitting; all that matters is that you keep your head in a neutral position as it puts less stress on your spine and neck. This also helps put less strain on your eyes as your eyes remain at least a feet away from your laptop or PC screen.
When walking or standing, walk with your shoulders rolled back instead of hunching over. Hunching while walking can also cause you to lose balance. You could even try out the wall test at home to check the curve of your spine and posture since it affects your neck too. To know more about this Click Here.
2. Get in a pool for a while every day
If you happen to have the luxury of a pool around you, it’ll bring great relief to your stiff neck and back. If you are facing too much pain, you could do light exercises and stretches in the water and then slowly move to swim.
The reason why pools are great for pain relief is due to the buoyant force of the pool water. It can help put less stress on your neck and shoulders while allowing you to do the required exercise. That is exactly how water therapy takes place, where experts guide you to do simple land-based exercises in water as it puts your body under less stress. The water can help soothe inflammation too.
If you have a personal pool that is temperature regulated, you could find the optimum temperature from your doctor for water therapy and change your pool temperature accordingly.
3. Change your furniture
There are quite a few changes that you can make for the sake of your posture when choosing furniture.
Invest in a better office chair when you are buying one for your home office. Find one with a neck rest. Neck rests on chairs allow you to rest against them, which helps you attain a good posture while working. They also keep your spine in check.
You could also get a standing desk for your office space. Standing allows you to have a naturally better posture, leading you to not constantly be in check of how hunched over you are, how stiff your neck is, or how your hands and feet are positioned. Make sure it is set at the correct height to not have any adverse effects.
You could also change your bed and pillows to avoid stiff necks! A cushiony soft, spring mattress, much like those at 5-star hotels, isn’t always a good choice, especially for your home since you use it every day. Use a slightly stiffer mattress and pillow, which provide good support to your neck and spine while adapting to your shape to avoid injuries.
Orthopedic mattresses are easy to find in stores nowadays; you can consult your doctor to know more about which bedding you should be using.
4. Be mindful when using your gadgets
We often get too lost on the screen and forget how we are sitting, standing, or lying down when using our phones, laptops, tablets, etc. We don’t realize that we are craning our necks or hunching over, and before we know it, we have back and neck pain constantly.
Make sure to keep your gadget at a higher angle to avoid straining your neck. You could prop your elbows on a table and then use your gadget to avoid the problem altogether.
5. See a professional
If your stiff neck is due to recent surgery or injury, it is ideal that you seek a professional physical therapist’s help. A therapist can help improve your neck flexibility and strength, reducing your chronic neck pain. They can also recommend ideal exercises and home remedies that might be helpful in relieving pain.
The neck and the spine are literally one entity. That’s why often people come to seek professional help for chronic pain, and most of the time, the reasons are interlinked. There are ways to naturally soothe your spinal and neck chronic pain with good practices.
You can find them online (much like what you are doing right now!) and consult a specialist for the same. Many can help you – movement specialists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, etc.
Make sure to research well about who you should be visiting and what you should be before and after your visit. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them and book your appointment as soon as possible.