How to prevent the neck pain

Causes and what we can do to help it

With most gym related injuries, we can identify an exact cause, a moment or a relatable reason why we are experiencing pain. Neck pain however can often present unannounced without rhyme or  reason. Luckily you are not alone with neck pain being a common spinal injury, that can improve with the right management steps. Like most of our other joints, in the neck once any serious injury or serious pathology has been ruled out by seeing a qualified health professional, we can then explore the main reasons why most people feel neck pain and what we can do about it.

Posture

Luckily working from home in your make shift office may not be the main contributing factor to neck pain. From what we know we cannot find a complete link to posture and neck pain. Most of the time it is not the position we are in but the amount of time we have spent in a position that can be the problem. The best posture is the next posture. Keep moving, set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to look up or go for a walk from your desk every 30 to 45 minutes.

Sleep

This is a hot topic at the moment and rightly so. This probably takes the crown when it comes to injury prevention. If you are to make one change and one change only, sleep would be it. Less than 8 hours per night can be linked to almost double the chance of musculoskeletal injury in comparison to someone sleeping more than 8 hours. Reduction in sleep has also been shown to reduce our ability to learn new skills, increased anxiety and reduce our muscle protein synthesis. When having neck pain, less sleep can make this pain feel worse compared to when we are fully slept.

Reduce stress

Often easier said than done and if you are sleeping well and training well hopefully this one will not be too much of a problem. However it is worth noting that high amounts of life stresses, sports related stress or even stress about getting injured can lead to a higher risk of injury. Stress can also affect our sleep and then mood so this is a cycle which is good to put to bed early (pardon the pun).

Stress can lead to a change in how we move causing us to become tense and tight around our head and neck areas, sometimes leading to pain in the neck, head, shoulders or headache.

Complete some neck specific exercises

After addressing your sleep, being aware of any stressful factors and moving more at our desk more, there are some exercises we can do either at home or in the gym to help maintain full range of motion of the neck and keep our muscle and joints strong. Having strong, supple joints and muscles and using them regularly can reduce our chances of becoming injured and experiencing pain.

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