If you find yourself frequently suffering from neck pain, you're part of more than 25 percent of Americans who report this type of pain. While you might occasionally feel discouraged about your discomfort, it's important to know that you don't have to suffer unnecessarily. While seeking medical care is an effective way to deal with your neck pain, you can take matters into your own hands and make some simple changes to your lifestyle that can help. With dedication to the following changes and some care from a health professional, it's often possible to alleviate your pain and greatly restore your quality of life.
Change Your Sleeping Position
If you sleep on your stomach, there's a strong chance that this position is contributing to your neck pain. When you're on your front, your head often needs to turn at an extreme angle, which can create a strain on your muscles and ligaments and even cause problems with your discs. Try to avoid sleeping on your front and, instead, opt for your back or your side. Ensure that your pillow provides adequate neck support; if the pillow is too flat, your neck can become compressed. Memory foam pillows are often ideal for those with neck pain, provided you can ensure that the pillow doesn't provide too little or too much support.
Make Healthy Postural Changes
Your neck pain can worsen as a result of poor seated or standing posture. Namely, when you allow your neck to fall forward, this position puts excess pressure on your discs and muscles and can lead to further discomfort. Focus on keeping upright; the simple rule to remember is to ensure that your head should always be positioned directly above your shoulders. This position is especially important to maintain at times that it's tempting to lunge forward, such as while sitting at the computer or even when you're driving your vehicle.
Take Steps To Banish Your Stress
Stress can lead to physical changes in your body such as tightened muscles, and many people find that high stress levels lead to neck pain. Different stress-management techniques work in different ways for people. Simple exercises such as taking a daily walk or practicing yoga can be effective for many people, while practices such as meditation can also serve as ideal ways to reduce stress. If you're able to isolate the chief reason for your stress -- problems in your workplace, for example -- you'll have a better chance of thinking of specific ways to reduce it.
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