Kevin M. Moran, MD

How to keep your neck healthy

Aug 10, 2023
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Maintaining a healthy neck is important for overall comfort and well-being. Here are some tips to help you keep your neck healthy.

Practice Good Posture: Just as with your back, maintaining proper posture is crucial for neck health. Keep your head aligned with your spine when sitting, standing, and walking. Avoid slouching or craning your neck forward.

Ergonomic Workspace: Adjust your computer monitor, keyboard, and chair to ensure that your neck is in a neutral position while working. Your screen should be at eye level, and your keyboard and mouse should be within easy reach.

Stretch Regularly: Perform gentle neck stretches to relieve tension and improve flexibility. Slowly tilt your head from side to side, forward and backward, and gently rotate your head to each shoulder.

Strengthen Neck Muscles: Incorporate exercises that target the muscles in your neck and upper back. Simple exercises like chin tucks, neck isometrics, and shoulder blade squeezes can help improve neck muscle strength and stability.

Use Supportive Pillows: Choose a pillow that provides adequate support for your neck and head while you sleep. The right pillow can help maintain proper alignment and reduce strain.

Avoid Extended Phone Use: Holding your phone between your shoulder and ear can strain your neck. Use a hands-free device or hold the phone with your hand to prevent unnecessary stress.

Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration supports the health of your spinal discs, including those in your neck. Drinking enough water helps maintain disc elasticity and cushioning.

Manage Stress: Tension and stress can contribute to neck discomfort. Engage in stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or gentle neck massages.

Avoid Heavy Bags: Carrying heavy bags, especially over one shoulder, can strain your neck muscles. Use a backpack with two straps or a crossbody bag to distribute weight evenly.

Stay Active: Regular physical activity helps keep your neck muscles strong and flexible. Incorporate exercises like yoga, Pilates, or swimming into your routine.

Monitor Your Sleeping Position: Sleep on your back or side with proper pillow support. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this can strain your neck.

Regular Breaks: If you work at a desk, take breaks to stretch your neck and shoulders. Gently roll your shoulders and perform neck stretches to relieve tension.

Avoid Text Neck: When using electronic devices, hold them at eye level to prevent straining your neck by looking down for prolonged periods.

Seek Professional Help: If you experience persistent or severe neck pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness, make an appointment with Dr. Kevin Moran, a board certified orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in spine surgery for a proper diagnosis and guidance for treatment.

Remember that individual needs may vary, so listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. Incorporating these tips into your daily routine can help you maintain a healthy neck and prevent discomfort or injury.