How to avoid neck pain

Everyday movements and your posture can affect your neck. From how you carry yourself when walking to the way you sit, these seemingly small things can leave your neck feeling sore and stiff. 

Luckily, there is a lot you can do to reduce the chances of spraining your neck. Here are some simple steps to promote a healthy spine and avoid neck pain.

Improve your posture

Poor posture increases your chances of neck pain. Working at computers and spending a lot of time looking down at your smartphone can both negatively affect your posture, which can strain your neck. 

Adjusting your posture so you keep your head balanced above your spine whether you’re sitting or standing is key. Avoid leaning your head forward or to the side too much, especially for prolonged periods of time, as this can strain the muscles in your neck.

Set up your workspace properly

If you spend a lot of time working on a computer, make sure you adjust your chair and your desk to promote good posture and stop you from leaning forward. The top of your computer screen should be at eye level so you don’t need to bend your neck up or down to read your screen. 

Laptops should be placed on a stand to raise the screen or alternatively, you can connect a separate screen to your laptop. 

Raise your smartphone

If you spend a lot of time on your smartphone, you may often experience sore or tight muscles in your neck. This is because looking down often and for extended periods of time strains your neck muscles.

Try to remember to raise your smartphone up to eye level so you can avoid bending your neck down. The same goes for reading books — raise your book or e-reader to eye level.

Sleep on the right type of pillow

While it’s generally healthiest to sleep on your back to allow your entire spine to rest comfortably, not everyone finds this comfortable. This is why it’s important to use a pillow that suits your sleeping habits and supports your spine. Memory foam, latex and feather pillows are often the preferred choices for good neck support. 

Drink plenty of water

Water is important to your overall health but it can also help reduce neck pain. The discs that lie between the bones (vertebrae) in your neck are mostly made up of water. By drinking plenty of water, you can help keep these discs strong and pliable so you’re less likely to injure them. 

Stretch your neck

Just like other muscles in your body, stretching your neck muscles helps keep them flexible and less prone to injury. Poor posture can mean your neck muscles get tight and even shorten over time, which puts you at risk of neck pain. 

Simple stretching and flexibility exercises can help loosen your muscles and reduce the strain that causes neck pain. 

We hope you've found this article useful, however, it cannot be a substitute for a consultation with a specialist

If you're concerned about symptoms you're experiencing or require further information on the subject, talk to a GP or see an expert consultant at your local Spire hospital.

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Author Information

Cahoot Care Marketing

Niched in the care sector, Cahoot Care Marketing offers a full range of marketing services for care businesses including: SEO, social media, websites and video marketing, specialising in copywriting and content marketing.

Over the last five years Cahoot Care Marketing has built an experienced team of writers and editors, with broad and deep expertise on a range of care topics. They provide a responsive, efficient and comprehensive service, ensuring content is on brand and in line with relevant medical guidelines.

Their writers and editors include care sector workers, healthcare copywriting specialists and NHS trainers, who thoroughly research all topics using reputable sources including the NHS, NICE, relevant Royal Colleges and medical associations.

The Spire Content Hub project was managed by:

Lux Fatimathas, Editor and Project Manager

Lux has a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience from UCL, a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and experience as a postdoctoral researcher in developmental biology. She has a clear and extensive understanding of the biological and medical sciences. Having worked in scientific publishing for BioMed Central and as a writer for the UK’s Medical Research Council and the National University of Singapore, she is able to clearly communicate complex concepts.

Catriona Shaw, Lead Editor

Catriona has an English degree from the University of Southampton and more than 12 years’ experience copy editing across a range of complex topics. She works with a diverse team of writers to create clear and compelling copy to educate and inform.

Alfie Jones, Director — Cahoot Care Marketing

Alfie has a creative writing degree from UCF and initially worked as a carer before supporting his family’s care training business with copywriting and general marketing. He has worked in content marketing and the care sector for over 10 years and overseen a diverse range of care content projects, building a strong team of specialist writers and marketing creatives after founding Cahoot in 2016.