Neck pain is common. Poor posture, whether from leaning over a computer or hunching over a workbench, strains neck muscles. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain.
Rarely, neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Seek medical care for neck pain with numbness or loss of strength in the arms or hands or for pain that shoots into a shoulder or down an arm.
According to Mayoclinic, Most neck pain is associated with poor posture combined with age-related wear and tear. To help prevent neck pain, keep your head centered over your spine. Some simple changes in your daily routine may help. Consider trying to:
1. Use good posture. When standing and sitting, be sure your shoulders are in a straight line over your hips and your ears are directly over your shoulders. When using cell phones, tablets and other small screens, keep your head up and hold the device straight out rather than bending your neck to look down at the device.
2. Take frequent breaks. If you travel long distances or work long hours at your computer, get up, move around, and stretch your neck and shoulders.
3. Adjust your desk, chair and computer so that the monitor is at eye level. Knees should be slightly lower than hips. Use your chair's armrests.
4. If you smoke, quit. Smoking can increase the risk of developing neck pain.
5. Avoid carrying heavy bags with straps over your shoulder. The weight can strain your neck.
6. Sleep in a healthy position. Your head and neck should be aligned with your body. Use a small pillow under your neck. Try sleeping on your back with your thighs elevated on pillows, which will flatten your spinal muscles.
7. Stay active. If you don't move much, increase your activity level.
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