Tips for dealing with neck pain
In the meantime, try these tips for a healthy neck
1. Chin Tuck
When you drive, use the headrest to stretch the back of your neck out as pictured. Think of pressing the base of your head into the headrest, and that will drop your chin and stretch the muscles at the back of your neck. When pushing the base of your head back, you’ll experience a stretch behind your neck. This is a great exercise for correcting forward head syndrome, which is rampant in our society.
2. Know which way is up
Grasp a good-sized clump of hair at the crown of your head and gently pull back and up, allowing your chin to angle downward in a relaxed way. When pulling the tuft of hair from the crown of your head, your head will align, the chin will drop slightly, and you’ll feel a stretch behind your neck. People often make the mistake of thinking that standing tall involves lifting the chin. Know which way is up!
3. Keep the spine aligned
4. Check your foundation
The root of many neck problems is in the pelvis, the foundation for your entire spine.
5. Roll your shoulders back and down
Periodically throughout the day, and as preparation for driving and keyboarding, roll your shoulders and let them settle back and down into a healthy position. Having your shoulders back and down helps your trapezius muscle keep a healthy length, which helps your neck.
6. Use your muscles and spare your joints
(a) When walking, engage your buttock (gluteal) muscles to soften your landing. You don’t want your neck (or any of your weight-bearing structures) to experience an earthquake with every step you take. Bonus: making every step a rep will give you a well-toned behind and will make your walk more graceful.
(b) If you are jogging or riding in a bumpy bus, imagine you are carrying a significant weight on your head and push up against it with the crown of your head. You will be engaging your longus colli muscle and sparing your neck discs and nerves from unnecessary wear and tear.