Glancing at books and notes for hours at a time may help you make the grade, but it can also literally be a pain in the neck. Most instances of neck pain experienced during long study sessions are due to poor posture and other habits. Even worse, these habits can also lead to serious neck pain later in life. Los Angeles spine surgeons believe taking a handful of steps now to prevent neck pain can provide much-appreciated relief and lead to some productive studying.
1. Keep Study Materials at Eye Level
Arrange your laptop or tablet and other study materials so everything is at eye level and within easy reach. Avoid studying while resting on your stomach on a couch or bed because this position can easily throw off your alignment.
2. Adjust Your Chair
Before studying, adjust your chair so your feet rest comfortably on the floor. Also, make sure everything else you need is set up beforehand so you won’t have to bend or twist your neck. Consider investing in an ergonomically designed chair to further maintain your spine’s natural curvature.
3. Take Periodic Breaks
Staying in one position too long causes extra pressure on the muscles, joints, and tendons that support the spine, including the seven bones of the neck. Take some breaks as you study, generally every 30 to 40 minutes, to walk around and stretch your muscles.
4. Opt for Healthy Snacks
Munching on random snacks loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats isn’t good for the tissues that support your neck. Instead, opt for fruit, handy veggies like carrot sticks, and air-popped popcorn without butter or salt. Keep a glass of water handy as you study so you stay hydrated.
5. Apply Heat or Ice
If you do experience any neck pain or stiffness while studying, apply ice or heat to the affected area to relax the muscles and tissues. Doing so can also increase circulation and reduce painful inflammation.
Whether your neck pain is caused by studying or comes from another source, trust in the experts at The Spine Institute to diagnose it correctly and find an effective solution. Dr. Hyun Bae specializes in minimally invasive procedures like the spinal decompression Los Angeles patients sometimes undergo. Call 310-828-7757 to learn more and schedule an appointment.