8 Simple Ways to Relieve Neck Strain
We have all been there… you wake up in the morning and feel like a steamroller hit you in your sleep. Your neck aches, and turning your head seems next to impossible. This is not necessarily an age-marker, I have felt the same way before, and I am in my early thirties. This is neck strain, and after a few consecutive mornings waking up with the same pain, it may seem like a good idea to reach for some painkillers. That quickly creates a vicious cycle of chemical dependence, which can be avoided by following these eight simple ways to relieve your neck strain.
Exercise Your Neck This may seem like a tall order if you are already in pain and cannot move an inch without it shooting down your entire body but if you can, try doing a few simple stretches to relieve the tension and muscle ache. Slow stretches can help relieve pain and inflammation and also help to prevent future neck stiffness and pain. Read on to see 8 ways to relieve neck strain.
1 Limit Driving
Try and avoid any long-distance driving. Sitting behind your car’s wheel all day can have drastic effects on your posture and, in turn, create tension in your neck. If you absolutely cannot avoid long periods of driving, then be sure to take multiple breaks along the journey to stretch and give your neck a rest.
2 Get A Good Night’s Rest
Getting decent rest is a crucial part of all-round optimal body function. Not getting enough sleep or getting poor sleep can wreak absolute havoc on your well-being, physically and mentally. Ensure you have a good quality mattress to make this step so much easier; this is the best mattress in a box that will provide you with comfortable and convenient countless nights of NOT counting sheep!
3 Limit Screen Time
This may not seem like an immediate reason for your neck pain but trust me, spending too much time on your phone or watching television can destroy any hope of having a healthy and happy neck. Constantly looking down at your phone or up at your television creates strain and tension on your neck. You may not notice it at the time because you are happily focused on the 5th episode of your favorite series, or you are distracted by fail videos. However, I can assure you that your neck has noticed – and it is not happy with you.
4 Ergonomic Office Furniture Is Your Friend
We are likely all guilty of this next one, whether by choice or not. I know this is hard to hear but, that super manly office chair you love because it makes you feel like a comic book villain – impressive as it is, it is probably not particularly ergonomic. Invest in good quality, comfortable office furniture to give you a better chance of not waking up with your neck punishing you.
5 Avoid Sudden Movements
This is especially true if you are already in a world of pain. Slow and gentle movements are the way forward. Try avoiding any jerking or sudden movements, these will only increase your pain levels, and I am pretty sure you do not want any more of that. Sudden movements will not only increase your pain levels, but you could risk a more serious injury that would require medical attention – which is not at all exciting.
6 Acupuncture Awareness
Acupuncture is a time-honored Eastern practice that involves inserting small needles into key points on your body to relieve pressure and inflammation. Do your homework on this one before clicking on just any add that comes up in your search results. Sterile needles and experienced practitioners are your friends, cheaper places made sound appealing but trust me, they are a no go. No, really, a definite no go – no matter how appealing the price may be.
7 Reduce Stress
I have left this point for last. The idea of reducing stress seems great in theory, but in practice, it feels like trying to find a unicorn. I do not at all deny there are ways to help reduce stress because there most certainly are. Exercising is a fantastic option – there is nothing like running or punching out your problems (in a safe environment to do so). I have conceded to adding this point specifically because it addresses “reducing” stress and not eliminating it. You have more chance of winning the lottery while riding that unicorn than you do of eliminating stress from your life.