Unfortunately, neck pain is common –and can affect anyone.
Neck and back pain affect all age groups. The number of 16 to 24-year-olds who now say they suffer from back and neck pain has risen by 60 percent, with many experts believing that mobile devices are to blame.
Neck pain is often due to a strain –a common injury to the muscles and tendons that support the head and neck. Neck strains at work are common –especially among those who work at office jobs using desks and computers for long periods of time.
Here are some measures that you can take to help prevent this common injury.
Maintain Proper Posture
You’ve probably heard “Sit up straight, don’t slouch!” at least once in your life. Maintaining proper posture is the best way to reduce your chances of straining your neck –especially while at work. Poor posture can cause you to strain your muscles –especially in your neck. It’s important to remain conscious of your posture while working on your computer –or using your smartphone and to perform stretching exercises that are beneficial for your posture.
Why it may sound insignificant, staying hydrated can help reduce your chances of neck strains at work. The disks that are between your vertebrae in your spine are made up of mostly water, and when you become dehydrated the disks are less pliable and you are more prone to strains. Try to drink eight glasses of fluid a day.
It is important to take regular breaks to stretch your muscles. Avoid keeping your neck and shoulders in the same position all day long. Take a few minutes to stretch your muscles –rolling your head gently from side to side to help to relax the muscles in your neck.
Regardless of the work you do –there is always the danger of lifting things the wrong way, or carrying weight unevenly. This can cause great strain on your neck, and cause painful muscle strains. For workers whose job requires heavy lifting, it’s important to bend with the knees –not the back and to keep your body properly aligned when lifting. For office workers, even carrying a heavy purse or briefcase can lead to neck pain. Consider a smaller bag –or using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight.
While office workers are especially at risk of neck strain, other fields aren’t exempt either. If your job requires heavy lifting –or involves standing in awkward positions for extended periods of time, it’s important to take extra care to prevent neck strains. Making an effort to stand straight, stretching often, and changing position frequency can all help to prevent this painful injury from occurring.