Does it distract you in the day and keep you awake at night? Does it give you a headache? Or spread down your arm? Do you find it difficult to concentrate? Do painkillers have little impact on the pain?
Neck pain is really common, it is one of the most frequent conditions we see in the clinic and it can feel really debilitating especially if it causes you a headache or arm pain too.
It often surprises clients when they realise as Physio’s we get aches and pains too, and my “weakest link” is my neck.
In this blog, I will share with you my 5 top tips I have learnt for keeping neck pain at bay.
1. Prevention is better than cure
Like me have you noticed once your neck pain occurs it can be difficult to get rid of? And that you can go months with no pain but when it occurs you get several bouts of it in a short space of time…. as Physios, of course, we treat each other but if between sessions I am slumped for hours on my laptop…. guess what pain reoccurs!! So do you prevent it?
2. Posture, Posture, Posture
Posture is critical to preventing neck pain, some of the most common triggers are spending hours in the car or long periods of time on screens especially laptops where you can be looking down. So check out your workstation and car set up and get up right…. don’t forget to check out home too, especially if you work on the kitchen table or worse still with a laptop on your lap!!!
3. Sport Helps
Our bodies are designed to move… they love movement. Personally, I love to swim and know if I swim regularly x2 a week I rarely suffer with neck pain. Get out the chair and move your body, it doesn’t have to be swimming just move it, move it!
4. Getting Sleep
Trying to sleep with neck pain can be miserable, where do you put your head, 1 pillow or 2 or even 3… or seated!! Do you try stuffing your arm under your neck, the spare room, a heat pack, a cold pack (errrgggghhhh) just to get some sleep!!!
Everyone is different, the most effective combination I have found is rolling a hand towel up and stuffing it in the bottom edge of my pillow helps a lot. The curve in my neck is just perfectly supported all night whether I am on my back or side. Try it, I bet it helps. It is so comfy I often keep the towel there even when I don’t have pain.
These are a funny exercise but can help relieve the pain and stiffness. Neck pain often comes on with a head forward/chin poking posture usually from sitting for long periods of time. A retraction is just the exact opposite. Imagine your chin is on a shelf and pull it backwards, you will feel funny and have lots of double chins. You might feel stiffness and some pain. This doesn’t cure all neck pain but just try and see what happens if you do a few, maybe 10… does it ease your pain and stiffness??? Let us know how you get on.
Most importantly, I have learnt of the years of suffering from recurrent bouts of neck pain and treating many many clients with neck pain, is if it does occur, catch it early, and treat your neck pain quickly!! That way you can get rid of it, sleep well and get on with a pain-free life….. ahhhhhhh 😉
Our Physio’s are treating neck pain every day and if you would like find out more or book a FREE discovery visit to get your neck checked out just call Tracey on 01285 654059
We are here to help