When dealing with neck pain, most patients make it a point to seek out chiropractic care, massage, pain relievers, and other remedies. These remedies often work, but only for a time; the neck pain eventually comes back. If you want to alleviate your neck pain for good, then you need to instead think about what's causing that neck pain. You might be engaging in some or all of the following habits which tend to cause or worsen neck pain.
Bending Forward When Sitting
Otherwise known as slumping, this way of sitting is very hard on your neck. When you bend forward and hang your neck to your chest, the weight of your head is supported by the back of your neck, and not by your shoulders and back. Over time, this can cause quite a lot of neck pain. Whether you spend an hour or 16 hours a day sitting, make sure you consciously check your posture. Keep your back straight and your eyes looking ahead. That may mean you have to raise your computer screen or lower your chair a little.
Sleeping on the Wrong Pillow
Many people choose a pillow that they think is comfortable and then sleep on that pillow night after night for years. There are two problems with this approach. For one, the pillow that feels comfortable when you lie on it for a few minutes may not actually be the one that supports your neck and back through a full night's sleep. For two, pillows become more compact over time, so even a pillow that worked well at first may lead to neck pain after a year or two. Replace your pillow annually, and make sure you choose one that's firm enough to actually offer some support.
Straining Your Neck During Workouts
Working out is good for you, but only if you do it right! A lot of athletes put a strain on their neck by grasping behind their neck as they do crunches, or by cocking their neck while they do shrubs. Consider working with a personal trainer for a few sessions so they can correct your posture and make sure you're not putting excess strain on your neck.
If you correct your seated posture, sleep with a better pillow, and adjust your workout form, you will likely experience relief from neck pain. Talk to your doctor or chiropractor for more tips and advice.