Between 10 and 21% of people will suffer neck pain in some point of their lives. There’s a higher prevalence of neck pain and upper back pain in office workers than in any other people that work. Between 33 to 65% of people with neck pain will have it resolved after 1 year of being checked on again. That leaves anywhere between two thirds to one third of these people will have continuous neck pain throughout their lives. A lot of the resolved neck pain problems will reoccur throughout the person’s life.
On this Back & Body video, we will talk about what you can do to prevent episodes of neck pain. Dr. Dave Perna here with Back & Body, your collaborative care approach for chiropractic, physical therapy acupuncture and medical care, treating patients in New York City on 58th and Lexington in Midtown also in New Jersey on US Route 22 in Springfield, New Jersey servicing the people of Union County including Mountain Side, Summit, Westfield, Cranford, and Union. Today we’re going to talk about 9 items that you could do to prevent neck pain. These items were taken from a ChiroTrust blog and if you want more information on our blog, you can visit our website at backandbodyny.com or backandbodynj.com and you can click on the link for blogs. Without further ado, let’s talk about number 1, which is the use of a cervical pillow. During sleep, the use of a cervical pillow so the neck is fully supported, keeps your head in alignment with your spine, also ideally if possible you want to sleep on your back. Here we see the traditional tempurpedic or memory foam pillow, a denser pillow will offer a lot more support.
Sometimes you see much less expensive memory foam pillows that do not have the proper support necessary to support the head and neck so be cautious of purchasing one for a lot less online. Probably go into a store and feel the density, you want a good quality density foam pillow to support the head and neck. Now we see another type of cervical pillow, this one allows for both sleeping on your back as well as side sleeping. This one is a little bit more variable and offers different types of sleeping patterns as well as offering a little more support for a smaller pettite person as well as a larger person and the side sleeper. The second thing we’re going to talk about to avoid neck pain or reduce your neck pain is your position in the office. You need to position the computer screen so it’s at or slightly below eye level and is straight in front of you.
The key is that you feel comfortable with the height of your monitor. The chin should be tucked in so that 10 or 11 pounds of your head weight stays back over your shoulders. This will place less load on your upper back and neck muscles to hold your back more upright. Set a timer or note the time so that every hour you get up and walk around. Remember, as we mentioned earlier, most people with upper back and neck pain are in an office setting. It is important to keep this in mind when working, please keep in mind too, if your office gives you a laptop, not only should you be aware of your position at the office, but also when you’re at home working at night. A lot of times people use the laptop and are in a head forward or looking down position, this will aggravate your upper back or neck. Our third piece of advice to avoid upper back or neck pain is your use of the telephone.
New York City Neck Pain Specialist
Remember we discussed earlier that more people who work in office settings suffer from upper back and neck pain than anyone else. So we have to look at your use of the telephone. If you’re using the phone a lot during the day, you have to get a headset. If you’re pinching the phone between your shoulder and ear so you can talk and type at the same time, you will most definitely develop neck problems. So, look at how long you’re using the phone. If it’s a regular use for you or if you use it during meetings, either use a speaker phone or get a headset. The number 4 item we’re going to discuss to avoid upper back and neck pain is exercise. There are a lot of studies out there that show people who are more physically active are less likely to report neck pain. They’re less likely to report pain in general, but this is about neck pain. If you are trying to avoid upper back and neck pain, a regular exercise routine would be highly advised. Number 5 on our things to do avoid neck and upper back pain is nutrition. How you eat and how you take care of your body starts with what you put in your body.
You want to look up things like anti inflammatory diets. I don’t like using the word diet, more like healthy eating lifestyle. Most agree on a few things which is, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats are very good things to have. You also stay hydrated and you can use supplements assuming your doctor has given you the clearance for things like Curcumin, Tumeric and also fish oils to keep inflammation in check. Number 6 is what you lift or carry. A heavy purse, briefcase or roller bag can really hurt your neck.
Take only what you need and put the rest in secondary bag that stays in your car where you can access it when needed. Switch to a backpack if possible versus a heavy briefcase. Remember, a slightly heavy bag early in the morning can really irritate the upper back and neck if on your shoulder throughout the day, so less is more. Number 7 on our items to do to take care of upper back and neck pain is self massage and stretching. The first thing is gently working on your tight fibers as you move your head through ranges of motion. Find the tight fibers and just gently apply pressure as you lean the opposite way. Other things you can do is gently go through your regular range of motion which includes cervical rotation, lateral flexion, and flexion and extension.
Just doing these general motions throughout your day while sitting at your desk can help out your neck pain a lot. Other things you can do is don’t forget that a lot of muscles in the neck attach and insert on a scapula, so gentle shoulder shrugs or locking down the shoulder by placing your hand behind your back and gently leaning away are things that can also help stretch out the neck. Number 8 of our things to do if you suffer from upper back and neck pain or are trying to avoid upper back and neck pain is if you are injured, do not wait. There’s evidence out there that those who seek care, particular chiropractic care shortly after an accident have less long term trouble. So if you are in an accident or have hurt or injured your upper back or neck, give us a call, (212)-371-2000 or in New Jersey (908)- 325-3000, we’ll help you out.
Our 9th advice for seeking relief from upper back and neck pain relief is get care sooner rather than later. This touches upon the whiplash or auto accident, but some people say “Doc, I wasn’t in an accident, it just slowly came about” and they hope because it came about slowly that it will also go away. Unfortunately, the longer something is with you when you’re dealing with neck or back pain, in this case neck pain, often the longer it takes to get rid of it. Some people will get so bad that it can lead to headaches.
Our combined care approach of chiropractic, physical therapy and acupuncture is quite successful for neck pain. So if you’re in the New York area and suffering from neck pain, give us a call at (212)-371-2000, our Midtown, Manhattan location is conveniently located for most people in the New York City area. If you’re in New Jersey, we’re centrally located in Springfield, New Jersey on Route 22. Our chiropractors, physical therapists, and acupuncturists in New Jersey will also be happy to help assist you with your upper back and/or neck pain that you are suffering from. Give us a call there at (908)-325-3000. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.