Neck pain is the second most common reason for extended time off of work. According to Grace Walker, PT, DPT, OTD, the most common causes of neck pain are: poor posture, stress, sprains/strains, arthritis, and accidents. Neck pain can also result from back or shoulder problems so the key to successful physical therapy treatment is to evaluate and treat the surrounding areas. This results in more, long lasting relief. The benefits of physical therapy include returning to a pain free lifestyle, learning strategies to maintain results and relief from painful muscle spasms.
Neck Pain Do’s and Don’ts
- Do use a hot pack or ice pack before bed.
- Do check pillow height and type, feather (not down) pillows are the best.
- Don’t sit for more than 20 minutes at a time.
- Don’t look up or down for more than 2 minute durations.
- Don’t hold your breath during exertion.
Be wary of Text-Neck! Maybe your pain in the neck is being caused by electronic use. Almost a fourth of smart phone users have complained of neck, back, or shoulder pain when carrying or using gadgets. As it happens, texting is their number one way to stay connected! Another culprit contributing to neck and back pain is laptops. Given that we are not going to cut these luxuries out of our lives any time soon, it is crucial that we acknowledge the potential impact on our pressure points. Follow these Do’s and Don’ts to help avoid the pain!
- Do sit with your head directly over your body instead of leaning forward and straining your neck.
- Do carry a laptop case or bag over both shoulders and adjust the bag so it’s held close to your back.
- Do keep your elbows and wrists supported while typing or texting by using armrests.
- Don’t sit for more than 20 minutes at a time without getting up.
- Don’t carry so many items in your bag all the time, only pack what you need each day.
Success Story: “I had neck and shoulder pain from stress and from sitting for long hours at work. Through the treatment and exercises that I was taught, I was able to relieve and prevent my neck and shoulder pain. My experience here also helped with my posture. I used to have really bad posture before and I sit and walk with better posture now.” ~L. Rodriguez