Neck Pain Causes and How to Treat Neck Pain at Home
One of the most common neck pain causes for office workers is overuse of neck and shoulder muscles. While working at a computer or desk for a long period of time might seem like a sedentary activity, it can actually put significant stress and strain on your neck muscles.
Regular exercise is necessary to keep your body healthy, but working out too much or too hard is one of the most common neck pain causes. While exercise is one of the most typical neck pain causes, it won't be permanent in most cases. However, injuries that occur when you exercise with improper technique - lifting weights incorrectly, for example - can result in long term neck pain.
Poor posture is one of the most regularly reported neck pain causes, especially if somebody maintains poor posture for a long period of time or even years. Poor posture can actually lead to serious strain the muscles and even changes in bone if not corrected.
Believe it or not, not drinking enough water is one of the frequent neck pain causes. Dehydration can lead to sore muscles and joint pain, and for many people, the nagging, chronic irritation is related to simply not drinking enough water. Combining this with work or activities that put your neck in odd positions for long periods of time can make symptoms worse.
What You Can Do
- Take Frequent Breaks
Taking regular breaks from office and computer work or any other activity that puts your neck in a fixed position for a long period of time can help to relieve soreness. The amount of breaks you need to take will depend on how you feel, but most people benefit from short stretching exercises about once per hour.
- Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
For temporary aches and pains related to exercise or infrequent activities like a long road trip, using over-the-counter pain relievers can help stop pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen should only be used as directed by the manufacturer, and if you are taking medicine prescribed by a doctor, you should take with them before using over-the-counter pain medication.
- Fix Your Posture
Most people know what good posture is, but after years of maintaining poor posture, it can be hard to change. Whether you're working at a desk or just going about your daily tasks, take time about once per hour to check your posture and adjust it as necessary. Once you break bad habits and get in the habit of maintaining good posture you won't have to think about it as much.
- Drink More Water
The rule of thumb used to be eight glasses of water per day. While that's pretty much been disregarded even by doctors, you do need to take in a considerable amount of water. There's no hard and fast rule, but if you're thirsty, you're probably already dehydrated. Replacing soft drinks, that third cup of coffee or juice with water can also be beneficial.
Heat might feel going on sore joints and muscles, but it won't relieve the inflammation and pain. When your neck hurts, try wrapping a towel around an ice pack and applying it to your neck for 15 to 20 minutes at a time a few times per day. While ice is more beneficial, a hot shower may help relieve soreness for a short period of time.
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