Neck pain can come on suddenly from an accident or develop over time, escalating from minor discomfort to more intense pain. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your neck and reduce incidences of both short and long-term pain. Here are a few tips, presented by the team of spine surgeons Santa Monica patients can rely on.
Improve Muscle Strength
A good way to avoid severe neck pain is to strengthen the muscles and tendons with specific exercises targeting supporting structures within the neck. While this won’t automatically prevent neck pain, stronger neck muscles can facilitate healing.
Carry Weight Evenly
A common cause of severe neck pain is improper distribution of weight around the neck and shoulders. This can encompass everything from carrying a bag or purse that’s way too heavy (and letting the shoulders and neck bear the weight) to improper weightlifting techniques at the gym.
Take Precautions with Contact Sports
Avoiding contact in contact sports isn’t realistic. However, ensuring that you wear proper padding and learn how to correctly execute moves can prevent painful neck injuries when a hard hit or fall does occur.
Get a Medical Exam Sooner Rather Than Later
Occasional neck pain that goes away after some rest is normal. Severe pain and discomfort affecting the cervical spine and supporting muscles, tendons, and joints, on the other hand, is likely to be more than just a momentary pain in the neck. If you experience an unusual pain in the neck area that lingers, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a board-certified physician. The same goes for any possible instances of whiplash you may have experienced from a seemingly minor car accident.
- Using support pillows and headrests
- Finding relaxation techniques that work for you (to reduce neck pain from stress)
- Improving sleep habits (including switching to a wedge-shaped pillow and not sleeping on your stomach)
If you are experiencing neck pain that lingers and are interested in finding out its cause, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Dr. Hyun Bae is a trusted Los Angeles surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive and motion preserving spine procedures. He can help properly identify and diagnosis the source of your pain so the most appropriate treatment options can be presented. Call 310-828-7757 today to schedule your in-person consultation.