Living with neck pain can be downright miserable, especially because this health issue often causes discomfort while you're awake and asleep. Scheduling a consultation and adjustment with a chiropractor can be the beginning of the end of your pain. The chiropractor will adjust your neck to provide pain relief and suggest a series of treatments that will eventually put your neck into proper alignment and keep it that way. In between appointments, you can positively contribute to the healing process by making a series of changes. Together with regular chiropractic adjustments, these changes can reduce your pain and restore your quality of life.
Lower Your Stress Level
Being stressed can cause neck pain or make existing neck pain worse. This negative emotion causes a physiological response in your body that often includes tight muscles or a slouched posture. By figuring out what is causing your stress and taking steps to address it, you can often experience a reduction in your neck pain due to your muscles relaxing. You can lower your stress level through activities such as yoga or light exercise. Other ways to help this problem include spending more quality time with your family, scheduling time during the week for enjoyable activities alone or with a friend and talking to your manager at work to have your workload changed.
Change Your Diet
Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can often reduce inflammation in your body, which can contribute some relief for your neck pain. If you've injured your neck or have a disc out of alignment, for example, the area will be significantly inflamed. Avoid inflammatory foods such as those that are highly processed -- fast foods fall into this category -- red meat and high-fat dairy products. Instead, build your diet from healthy, natural food sources such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and spices such as curry and ginger.
Perfect Your Posture
It's easy to exacerbate your neck pain when you don't sit properly. Whether you're on the couch, at the table or in your home office, the proper seated posture can reduce pressure and stress on your neck. Avoid leading forward or slouching; these positions can move your neck out of alignment and lead to pain. Instead, try to keep your head directly centered above your shoulders. Hold your shoulders back to avoid them falling forward, maintain an upright back position and avoid sitting in the same position for too long. It's generally a good rule to get up and stretch or perform some type of movement every hour.