How To Prevent Neck Pain

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By Dr. Kevin Bloom
Published on June 3, 2013

Follow our tips on preventing neck pain.

 

Neck pain is currently one of the most common reasons to visit a chiropractor or physiotherapist.  To avoid the onset of neck pain, it is important to be aware of how your daily activities affect your neck.

Neck Pain Prevention Strategies:

  • Avoid prolonged sitting as much as possible.  Pace yourself by getting up and moving around every 20-30 minutes.
  • Maintain proper posture when sitting.  Avoid head-forward posture and slouching.
  • Use a cervical pillow while sleeping (eg. ObusForme Ultrafoam Deluxe Pillow)
  • Use an ergonomically-designed computer station (for more information read Ergonomics 101)
  • If you are a frequent telephone user, use either a speaker phone or a headset.  Cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder for prolonged periods of time can cause neck pain.
  • When driving, make sure your seat is positioned reasonably close to the steering wheel.
  • Perform mobilization/movement neck exercises regularly.  For example, while maintaining proper posture, turn your head to the right.  Just go as far as you can such that you are comfortable.  Hold for five seconds.  Do the same movements on your left side.  Perform these movements multiple times each day.  Another exercise for which would follow the same process is when you dip your head to the side such that your ear approaches your shoulder.
  • Strengthen surrounding neck and shoulder muscle groups.  For example, put your right hand on your right cheek and resist yourself for five seconds by trying to turn your head to the right against your own self-resisting hand (your head shouldn’t actually move).  You will feel your neck muscles working in the process.  Do the same exercises on the left side.  Perform a few of these exercises every other day.  If symptoms occur, discontinue these exercises and speak to a regulated health professional (eg.  chiropractor, physiotherapist)
  • Try to sleep in the supine position (on your back facing up).
  • The process of finding a mattress that is right for you can often be challenging.  In my experience, medium firm mattresses tend to be the best fit for most people.