Correct Way to Sleep on a Pillow to Reduce Neck Pain

reduce neck pain Reduce neck pain, there is nothing more frustrating or painful than waking up in the morning with neck pain, how to reduce it. The most common cause of morning neck pain is your pillow. In this article we are going to look at what to look for in pillows to relieve neck pain and the correct way to sleep on your pillow to reduce neck pain.

Choosing the Right Pillow to reduce Neck Pain

When choosing support pillows for neck pain it is important to pick one that supports the head and neck in the correct position to reduce neck tension and further damage to an existing injury.  A good pillow conforms to body shape, giving support without applying pressure and ensuring that weight is spread evenly along the spine and vertebrae.

Lying On Your Back

A much sort after pillow

When lying on the back, the pillow should support the neck, head and shoulders keeping the curvature of the spine in a natural position. The pillow should be kept low to prevent the chin tilting which can put strain on the neck.

Any excessive pressure to the neck in this position can irritate sensitive muscles. The facet joints, also known as synovial joints, which lie in between the vertebrae, can impinge nerves or become inflamed when a pillow is too high and puts pressure on the neck and spine.

Any existing neck problems may be amplified causing a delay to recovery. Placing a pillow under the knees can also lessen back strain and is the most suitable and gentle position for the back.

Lying On Your Side can help reduce Neck Pain

Pillow to Reduce Neck Pain

When lying on the side, a pillow should support the head and neck so that the spine remains straight in a horizontal position.  The head should not be tilted at an awkward angle and weight should be distributed evenly. The pillow should fill the space between the mattress and the ear to prevent the neck bending awkwardly.

A small pillow placed under the waist may create additional support and comfort, as may a pillow between the knees. By changing sides when sleeping and repositioning the pillow, pain can be hugely reduced.

Sleeping On Your Stomach

When sleeping on the stomach, a flat pillow should be used or no pillow at all to protect the head and neck and prevent them from turning in an unnatural and awkward position. Another pillow placed under the stomach helps prevent the spine from arching and keeps it aligned naturally.

Core Ladies Comfort Cushion, Standard, Gray

Many pillows can aggravate the shoulders if positioned incorrectly and this in turn can aggravate the neck by setting off spasms in the trapezius muscles. These muscles span the neck, back and shoulders, performing many actions including moving the neck in different directions.

By placing the shoulder slightly forwards on the mattress when sleeping on the side, pressure is removed from these muscles and the risk of forcing the shoulder blade towards the spine is lessened. People who often suffer from neck pain occasionally find that putting extra pillows under their arms for support can also increase comfort and reduce neck pain.

Having good posture in the waking hours, with ear, shoulder and hip in alignment can decrease existing pain and prevent further aggravation. It is important to maintain this correct posture when sleeping to protect the neck from inadvertent damage, so using suitable pillows in a correct manner is vitally important.

Body Mechanics for Retail Workers

body mechanics for retail workersBody mechanics is cause of neck pain. Body mechanics is a phrase used to describe everyday movements made during normal activities such as sitting, standing, lifting and pulling.  Body mechanics can contribute to neck pain, back problems and other bone and muscle problems if performed incorrectly.

Retail workers are especially prone to neck pain due to incorrect use of body mechanics. But, there are various ways to correctly perform activities if you work in the retail industry to minimize the risk of injury to your neck, back and shoulders.

Wearing shoes that offer support for the arches of your feet as well as your back are important if you stand for long periods of time. Feet should really be placed flat to the floor, kept roughly one foot apart and your back should be held straight. Rest periods are essential if you are on your feet for any length of time.

Body Mechanics and Sit-Down Jobs

If your work involves sitting for lengthy periods, a straight- backed chair should be used with a pillow, or even a rolled-up blanket, for lower back support. Your feet should be positioned flat on the floor. Breaks should be taken regularly to move around. Checkout workers should sit within easy reach of the items they are handling so as to avoid slouching or inappropriate back and spine positioning.

Jobs That Require Lifting

Work activities may involve lifting and it is important to test the load, checking the weight to make sure it can be lifted safely. The back should be kept in a natural curve and bending should take place at the hips or knees. A wide base of support should be maintained to reduce slipping.

Objects should be held closely to your body to reduce back strain and your body should not be twisted. Movements should be kept smooth and not jerky.

Keeping the stomach muscles taut helps the abdominal area to assist in lifting reducing strain on the lower back. Pushing rather than pulling utilizes the body weight safely.

Keeping the lifting area clear of obstacles and pre-planning heavy lifting will minimize the risk of injury. Heavy objects may require the assistance of others and it is important to maintain good communication to reduce the risk of unexpected jerky movements. An assistive device such as a dolly or cart may be required for really heavy objects.

Keeping up Good Body Mechanics in the Work Place

Repetitive lifting should be eliminated wherever possible and loads should be broken up into several smaller loads if possible.

When placing items on low shelves it is best to kneel or squat keeping the back straight. The same applies for retrieving items that should be held close to the body before standing up, using the leg muscles and keeping the back straight. Activities that are above chest level should involve the use of a step stool or long handled reaching tool.

When retrieving items from a grocery cart keep one hand should remain on the cart for support, while you reach with your other arm to pick up the item. Your back should be kept straight while pivoting from the hips, and the leg opposite to the supporting arm should be lifted. Once the item has been picked up the hips should be slowly straightened and the leg lowered.

Paying attention to how you move on the job and being conscientious about proper body mechanics can help you to avoid debilitating neck pain.

From High Tech To Text Neck

neck pain from texting Text neck syndrome is an increase in the overuse of neck muscles causing neck pain due to our computers becoming more high tech and a whole lot smaller. If you are an avid user of any of your hand-held mobile devices and are experiencing neck pain of late, perhaps you, too, are suffering from text neck.

With the advances in technology, desktop computers are now longer our only option. Thus, cases that involve eye strain or neck and shoulder pain due to poor posture while sitting up in front of a computer have downsized as our computer gadgets have ‘down-sized’. Hand-held devices and gadgets now are more portable and much smaller. Case in point: mobile devices namely smart phones, portable gaming devices, MP3 players, e-readers, tablets, etc.

These electronic devices we have today are almost always the size of our hands and actually one of neck pain causes, thus text neck. Text neck is especially the experience of those who contort themselves into highly unnatural positions as they use their hand-held devices.

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Text Neck Definition

Florida chiropractor Dean Fishman coined the term ‘text neck.’ Dr. Fishman also founded the Text Neck Institute. Text Neck™, according to Dr. Fishman is: “an overuse syndrome or a repetitive stress injury, where you have your head hung forward and down looking at your mobile device for extended periods of time…This is a global epidemic not just from texting, but from using all sorts of wireless media.”

When you text or read from a handheld device, more often than not, the head is tilted forward. The head is actually around 10 to 12 pounds, and as it tilts forward, the neck muscles tend to flex to carry the head’s weight. Truth be told, every inch you move you head forward from its natural standpoint, its weight increases by 100%. That said, the more you extend your neck, the heavier the weight it has to bear.

Text Neck Symptoms

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As mentioned above, if you experience text neck, you experience neck soreness and tightness, and you actually also get headaches. If you leave it untreated for a stretch of time, chances are, you’ll develop an inflammation and permanent arthritic damage along with an increased abnormal curvature of the spine. This can occur even more so with young ones since they have naturally larger heads in relation to the body size as compared to adults.

So, the symptoms of text neck include headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm pain, and even compromised breathing.

Recent studies have confirmed that there is a link between the amount of text messages sent every day and the pain felt. Those who had more text messages sent experienced greater discomfort.

Avoiding Text Neck

Just like any other injuries that involve cyclic or repetitive movement, you can prevent it from happening if you take frequent breaks and bring your neck back to its natural position. Whenever you text or read from the mobile device that you have, instead of looking down, just try to occasionally bring the device upward so it is aligned with your eyes.  Dr. Fishman has developed a mobile app that you can install to help you align your mobile device to the right angle. That way, you can prevent text neck from occurring.

Check out this video for more information on text neck:

Is Your Neck Pain Due To Computer Vision Syndrome

computer vision syndromeComputer Vision Syndrome or CVS is causing suffering and neck pain, you may have CVS. This is a fairly new medical condition recognized in the health care field. Being on the computer pretty much all day and staring at the monitor continuously can seem pretty harmless, but it can actually be one of the major neck pain causes.

Going online for hours and hours is fairly commonplace to many young adults these days. Often times your job requires it.  Studies found out that 50 to 90 percent of people whose work require them to look at a computer screen for several hours have at least one symptom of Computer Vision Syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome Symptoms

Blurring of or double  vision, irritation, drying  and reddening of the eyes, headaches, and shoulder pain are also among the disturbing symptoms of computer vision syndrome, which is a short-term condition brought about by extensive use of computer. An article on the American Optometric Association website states: “The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of computer use,”

Cause of Computer Vision Syndrome

Similar to other repetitive stress injuries or repetitive strain injury, Computer vision syndrome is the effect of repeating the same motion over and over again. And even though young people are usually the ones who stare at computer screens practically all day, middle-age people and older are frequently the ones experiencing the symptoms. The reason behind this is that the younger you are, the more focusing power you have. However, if you leave a visual impairment untreated, chances are, you will develop CVS symptoms no matter what age you are.

At the root of Computer Vision Syndrome is usually poor lighting, bad posture, monitor screen glare, inappropriate viewing distance. And, untreated vision problems such as astigmatism or farsightedness can be a cause. Also, aging can have a huge effect on the your ability to focus on objects and this generally starts at the age of 40.

Most of the symptoms will resolve after getting away from the computer, but some may still persist that can ultimately cause diminished visual abilities. And if you don’t do something about it, it gets worse by the minute as you stare right at your computer.

The eyes need to adapt to changing images appearing on the screen whenever you’re looking at a computer monitor in order to produce a more lucid picture for your brain to interpret. Thus, your eyes are constantly focusing and moving back and forth.

Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome

Luckily, you can  do some things to prevent or correct this problem. Proper positioning of the computer monitor (4 to 5 inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from the face)is essential. Lighting should be altered in order to trim down the glare from the computer monitor screen. Furthermore, take breaks away from the computer.

Another essential tip to heed is the “20-20-20 rule” which requires you to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of staring at the monitor. And poor seating posture can bring about computer-related neck pain so always maintain proper sitting position.

In addition to taking the preventative steps mentioned above, be sure to have your eyes checked. At the root of CVS is uncorrected problems with your vision.
You may not be able to avoid looking at the computer for a significant amount of hours, but you can always do something to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome which can cause annoying neck and shoulder pain.

Whiplash Neck Pain

whiplash neck painWhiplash neck pain is usually caused by car accidents. During motor vehicle accidents, our body is secured into the seat but the head is thrown forward causing too much flexion of the neck. With this, the sudden forward motion goes beyond the normal range of neck movement causing the ligaments and muscles to overstretch.

How to Identify if it is Whiplash Neck Pain?

First, you need to identify the area of the pain. A common symptom of whiplash is neck stiffness and neck pain. The kind of pain felt differs, but the location of the pain is mostly in the area over the shoulders between the shoulder blades.

Other people can also experience on and off pain which can move toward the ears and can cause painful headaches. Some would also complain of tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Whiplash neck pain cannot be detected for several days after the accident happened, so it is essential for you to be aware of any changes in your neck area.

  • Know the symptoms

Except for the most obvious symptom which is neck pain, if you suffer from whiplash you may also experience blurred vision and dizziness. Other symptoms would include difficulty sleeping and memory problems. The symptoms that you feel depend on the intensity of the injury. There are cases that the injury can cause personality disorders like mood changes, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating and irritability.

  • Undergoing specific tests to identify whiplash

Before undergoing any specific medical examinations, your doctor will be asking you questions regarding your medical history, if you have been in any accidents and so on. These things are important to know if you really are experiencing whiplash. If you really have been in an accident then you will need to undergo certain diagnostic tests.

If your doctor suspects the presence of whiplash, he or she may order a series of test like X-rays or a CT scan to know if the spine or neck vertebrae have suffered any type of damage or injury, or whether you have a pinched nerve. Manual physical examinations are also very common and it can greatly help doctors establish whether the area is tender or sensitive to the touch.

Recommended treatments for whiplash neck pain

Recommended treatments for whiplash neck pain would include ice or cold therapy.  This therapy is usually recommended for the first 48 hours after the injury. It helps in reducing the inflammation and swelling of the neck muscles sustained from the accident. Heat therapy is used following the cold therapy. Heat therapy improves the circulation of blood to the injured area, supplying the necessary nutrients and oxygen needed for faster healing. Pharmacological treatment may be used if severe injuries have been sustained, and especially if the pain is already chronic.

Whiplash neck pain can be painful, and it may point toward something serious taking place when proper treatment is not done immediately. Like any other conditions, early treatment and prevention is the best intervention.

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