There are certain places on the body that store stress—the neck is one of them. The pressures and tension built up in life seem to reside right where we support our heads, and everyday tasks and maneuvers aggravate the area. How we sit at work, how we compose ourselves to communicate, and even how we position ourselves to rest at the end of a long day can prove to be more harmful than restorative. If you're wondering how to decompress your neck, it's typically a matter of adjusting the way you go about doing these everyday things.
Keep reading to learn the five things that are wreaking havoc on your neck—and how to fix them.
For as much time as we spend at work, we don't often ensure that we're making the healthiest choices for our bodies while we're there. Sitting at your desk all day has proven ramifications for the body, and after hours of staring at your computer screen, you're more likely to give in to poor posture and slouch. Consider investing in an ergonomic chair specifically suited to reduce tension in your neck and back, or switch out your chair for a standing desk. Even breaking up the workday with regular walks can help reduce the chance of harming your back from sitting for hours.
Have you ever developed a crick in your neck after a lengthy phone call? You're not alone, and yet this result can be easily avoided. Be conscious of how you're composing yourself when you're on the phone. If you need to go hands-free (which most often results in a crick), wear wireless headphones for the call.
Just as sitting at your work desk for hours on end can wreak havoc on your neck and back, driving—namely your driving posture—can contribute to neck pain. To correct the issue, position the driver's seat at 100 degrees, just shy of straight, and place your hands at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions while you steer. If you ever feel tension building as you drive, safely pull over to take a break outside and do some stretches.
Though sleep should be restorative both for the mind and body, sometimes it can leave you feeling worse come morning. If you regularly wake up with a crick in your neck, consider reevaluating your mattress and even your pillows to make sure you're getting the kind of support best suited to your back and the rest of your body. Oftentimes falling asleep with too many pillows can mean neck pain in the morning. Your bed is essential to providing your body with the essential rest it needs.
It's easy to accidentally compress your neck while working out. Getting overzealous during a class or while lifting can instantly strain your back or neck. Avoid this by learning and committing to the proper technique for whatever you do, and steer clear of demanding workouts when you're already feeling fatigued or under the weather.
Next up, check out these natural remedies for pain so you can skip the Advil.