A sore neck can be painful and interfere with your daily activities, mood and productivity, as well as your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Neck pain can be caused by a number of problems. Irritation of joints, muscles or along nerve pathways in the neck can cause pain in the shoulder, head, arm, and/or hand. It is common to have a headache and tension associated with neck pain. Neck pain can range from minor and ignorable to severe and the worst pain or discomfort someone has experienced.
You can check out our blog here which will describe in more details what can cause a sore neck.
Strengthen and Stretch
For every inch your head protrudes in front of your spine (while in bad posture) the load on your neck and shoulders is increased. We can deload those by adopting good posture but it is also important to strengthen the loaded regions.
Strengthening and stretching can help relieve the pain and stiffness, and prevent it in the future. It’s important to strengthen and stretch gently and slowly. Strengthening can be done using a resistance band, gravity or your hands. It is always advisable to see a health professional, such as a chiropractor, to run you through what exercises would benefit you the most.
Some examples include:
- Roll your shoulders backward and then forward in a circle.
- Press your shoulder blades together and hold the position for a few seconds, then repeat.
- Slowly turn your head from side to side while on your hands and knees.
- These can be progressed in load using weights or a resistance band.
Create An Ergonomic Workplace
Many people work at a computer desk for eight hours each day or spend a similar amount of time seated or stationary. This can contribute to a sore neck, as certain muscles and joints get overloaded/overused. Here are some ways to help prevent this:
- Adjust your chair into a comfortable position with your feet flat on the floor and your knees a bit lower than your hips
- Use ergonomic posture while sitting, with your back straight and your arms level to the desk.
- Rest your head in the back of the chair if possible.
- Adjust your computer so that it’s at eye level
- Stand up to stretch and move every 15, 30 or 60 minutes
Exercise has been shown to reduce chronic pain. It can help strengthen your muscles and can help you to improve your posture to relieve and prevent neck pain. It’s also a great way to relieve stress that may be contributing to your neck pain.
Red Flags for Neck Pain?
It is advisable to see a chiropractor or a GP for any neck pain but if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below you should seek immediate medical assessment:
- Severe pain, unlike what you have experienced before
- A severe and new headache, the worst you have experienced
- Tingling, numbness or weakness in arm, shoulder or hands
- Pain associated with some kind of trauma or impact
- Shooting pain into the arm, shoulder or hands
- Difficulty in walking or balancing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Fever or chills