Easy Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Tension
The good news is that there is actually a lot that you can do to support the healthy operation of your neck, thereby reducing the severity or frequency of your neck pain. Working with a physical therapist is the best way to address neck pain. During physical therapy,yourneckpainwillbeaddressedholistically, taking into consideration the initial injury that may have caused the pain to develop, but also any other habits, movements or compensations that may be contributing to the discomfort. Physical therapy takes advantage of strategies like massage, stretching and muscle training to reduce neck pain, and many of these strategies can be adopted in part at home or on the-go to help you address your neck pain when it is bothering you the most. Adopting healthier habits can have a big impact on your management of neck pain. These include: • Practicing improved posture • Wearing recommended footwear • Using lumbar support in your desk chair or car • Exercising regularly • Engaging in regular stretching, like yoga One of the primary goals of physical therapy is to address whole-body well-being by encouraging
improved overall health. In many situations, this includes improved flexibility and range-of-motion training, muscle building and strength training, and even in some cases, encouragement with cardiovascular activities and weight loss. At the end of the day, the best way to be free of neck pain is to prevent neck pain from developing, and working with a physical therapist can help you in this regard, as well. The tasks that you do every day can build up over time and cause a lot of stress on your body, and the neck and shoulders are some of the most common places to carry that stress. You may not even realize the impact that simple tasks that you do every day have on your body and your experience of pain. Things like driving, lifting heavy objects — like packages at the front door or even your groceries — and repetitive movements like hunching over a keyboard at work can all seriously impact your neck pain. The longer you let neck pain linger and disrupt your life, the more difficult it becomes to treat. If you experience an injury, the smart thing to do is to consult a physical therapist soon after the pain develops.
Stretches Your Neck
Backpack Strategies for Parents and Students
SCALENE STRETCH: Place your hands overlapping on your breast bone. Next, tilt your head upwards and away from the affected side until a gentle stretch is felt along the front and side of your neck.
Loading the backpack: • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 10 pounds. • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the pack).
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1 • Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the backpack. • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities. • If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand carry a book or other item outside the pack. • If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it. • Only put items in your backpack that you need for the day. 7 7 3 6 5 9 5 2 1 9 6 5 1 8 6 5 7
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