Eight tips for neck pain relief
When pain syndromes originate in the cervical (neck) spine, there can be a number of associated symptoms. Neck pain patients often report experiencing pain in the back of the head and neck, difficulty turning the head side-to-side, nerve pain and/or numbness and tingling down the arms, headaches, jaw pain, cognitive fog, dizziness, muscle fatigue and pain extending from the neck into the shoulders and upper back.
Here are eigtht tips for neck pain relief:
1. Check your sleeping position. Ideally, back or side sleeping is best, with a pillow that mildly raises the head in order to keep the head and neck aligned with the rest of the spine.
2. Manage your time on electronic devices. Long periods of time looking down at mobile devices overstresses the neck and supporting musculature. Try limiting your screen time or holding your device at eye level to help.
3. Set up your workstation with appropriate ergonomics. Raise your monitor to eye level. Use a headset for phone calls. Consider a standing desk or kneeling chair to change workstation positions Most importantly, take breaks as often as possible.
4. Practice daily stress relief. Many of us hold stress in our bodies and have a tendency to ‘hunch’ our neck and shoulders during stressful times. Daily practices of meditation, yoga and walking can help to release stress in a healthy way.
5. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep joints, muscles and spinal discs adequately lubricated, which helps spinal flexibility and decreases pain.
6. Practice core fitness. Core exercises, such as yoga, pilates and weight training, help to keep our spines strong, support our alignment and prevent injury.
7. Ice your neck. Using an ice pack across the back of your neck and shoulders, for approximately ten minutes at a time, helps to decrease inflammation caused by injury, stress strain, or overuse.
8. Have your spinal alignment checked. Consider consulting with a chiropractor specializing in the cervical spine to determine whether misalignment of cervical vertebrae is contributing to neck symptoms.
With over 20 years of experience as a specialist in the upper cervical spine, Upper Cervical Chiropractor Dr. Erin Elster, D.C., has maintained a practice on Maui for the past five years.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Elster in Kahului at (808) 866-6551 or www.erinelster.com.