How To Reduce Neck and Upper Back Pain
It is very common for individuals to experience some kind of discomfort in their upper back and neck. Some people think that stiffness and pain is something they just have to deal with. As we mentioned in our “Common Causes Of Pain” blog, pain is your body’s way of trying to get your attention and that it should not be ignored. It would be like ignoring the check engine light if it came on in your car.
The most important thing to do is to find the cause of your pain. You can not go about finding relief for pain if you can not pinpoint the cause. If you try to alleviate pain without finding it’s roots, you are going to just be treating symptoms and not what is harming your body in the first place. Upper back and neck pain can come from a number of different things: poor posture, abnormal neck curves, looking down at your phone or computer for extended periods of time, sitting at a desk for long periods of time, driving long distances, slouching, sleeping with too many pillows, and more.
If you are experiencing upper back and neck pain, keep reading to discover some ways to help you reduce any neck and upper back pain:
#1. Avoid looking down at a computer or phone
We live in a society that loves technology. We find ourselves staring down at a screen longer than we may realize. It may not feel like we are doing harm, but we are. Looking down for long periods of time causes stress and strain to the head, neck and upper back. This can be one of the primary reasons you are experiencing pain and discomfort. The best way to reduce this pain is to bring your phone up to eye level, rather than staring down at it. If you need to use a computer for work, schedule time in your day to get up and stretch your neck and back. A quick 5 minute walk in between emails could make all the difference.
#2. Fix your car posture
When driving a car your seat should not be leaning back, like most are. This may lead to discomfort in the low back, mid back, upper back and neck. Instead you want to make sure that your hips are pushed all the way to the back of seat and your spine should be upright with your head against the head rest. You may have to bring your seat more upright to accomplish this position. Keeping your spine in this tall posture will help reduce the pain that may come with driving. Some advice we give to our patients to help them adjust to this new position is set your rear mirror and side mirrors. This will help you keep this ideal posture in the car. There may be times in the beginning you can not see but instead of re-adjusting the mirrors, you should re-adjust yourself. Safety is alway our top priority so please be careful making these changes to your car seat. If it is too drastic, then do it slowly.
#3. Treat yourself to a massage
Sometimes life can catch up to you and leave you feeling run down. This is another reason why you may experience pain or discomfort in your upper back and neck— from all the tension life is throwing you. A massage once or twice a month may be the best way to relieve any built up tension and relax your muscles. If you have never gotten a massage before consider venturing to your nearest facility and discover a masseuse that fits right with your needs. Developing a good relationship with him/her will help not only you to get benefits, but the masseuse will know exactly what your muscles need.
#4. Experiment with yoga
Yoga is not only a great way to ground yourself, but it is also a great way to exercise. Yoga is the art of performing and holding certain poses that can help to stretch and strengthen your muscles, without the need for gym equipment. Performing certain yoga poses can help to stretch out any tension filled muscles and strengthen them to be better prepared for any life stressors that may come your way. You can perform yoga at home or at a studio, the important thing is to listen to your body and move in the direction that feels right for you.
#5. Visit your chiropractor
Visiting your chiropractor consistently can be the key to reducing and possibly eliminating any upper back and neck discomfort that you may have. However, while your visits may help your pain, it is important to continue your work outside of the office. You do not want to leave an adjustment feeling amazing, to then go back to the old habits that brought you into the office initially. This is why understanding the cause of your pain is important so that way you can take the steps to not only treat it, but also prevent it from occurring again.