For an ailment that’s as common as neck pain (affecting around 70% of Americans), there are several ways to improve the health of your neck naturally including the following 5 recommendations.
1. Good Posture
We’ve all heard this one and it involves avoiding slouching whether you’re walking or sitting in a chair. Also, avoid sitting for long periods of time without changing positions or getting up. Get in the habit of taking short breaks 3 or 4 times an hour to stretch your neck (leg and back) muscles. Even when you’re sleeping you should consider good posture (don’t sleep on your stomach) and sleep with your neck straight. You can purchase special neck support (cervical) pillows that can help relieve neck stress.
2. Neck Friendly Office Ergonomics
If you work At a computer there are several ways you can make your office environment more ergonomically friendly. Good examples include adjusting your monitor so that the top of the screen is at eye level and using a document holder when you type that puts your work at the same level as your monitor screen. In addition, sit your head back, positioned over your spine, to minimize neck strain and use a headset if you’re on the phone a lot to avoid tucking the phone between your ear and shoulder, a common cause of neck pain.
3. Light Stretching
If you suffer from intermittent neck pain and stiffness, you’ll benefit from strengthening and stretching the dozens of ligaments and skeletal muscles that line your neck. The most important thing you can do for healthy muscles and ligaments is to encourage steady blood flow to these tissues, and gently stretching the ones that line your neck is the most effective way to maintain a rich supply of blood in these areas. Try simple exercises like shrugging your shoulders up and down and pulling your shoulder blades together, then relax. Another move would be to pull your shoulders down while you lean your head to each side; this is a great way to stretch tight neck muscles. It is important to always move slowly and take deep breaths in and out when stretching.
4. Find Ways to Relieve Stress
Stress often plays a role in neck pain and also leads to weight gain in many cases. If stress is a factor for you, learn some relaxation exercises, consider meditation and massages, strategies that can not only keep your neck healthy by relieving stress, but also help you avoid stress eating.
5. Upper Cervical Chiropractic
The cervical spine, or neck, is the most delicate section of the spine; it supports the head, houses the spinal cord and regulates blood flow to the brain, all factors that can lead to neck pain due to muscle strain. Upper Cervical Chiropractic, a natural, nonsurgical treatment, can alleviate the pain caused by several types of neck problems and help prevent it by keeping the area in perfect alignment. Basically, upper cervical chiropractic care facilitates correct posture, helping the entire body rebalance itself, which results in less stress to not just the neck but all areas of your body including the rest of your spine. And upper cervical chiropractic does not require any popping, cracking or twisting of the spine. It is a precise mathematical approach to realign the spine to a normal balanced position gently and effectively.
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Dr. Pete Tsiglieris of Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California is an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). His upper cervical clinic also serves San Mateo, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Carlos, and Sunnyvale. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, back pain and shoulder pain and weakness. More information can be found on our website at http://www.bayareanuccacare.com/