It can be hard to reverse bad posture, but it can save you from discomfort and pain. Here are some tips to follow on how to hold things, as well as how to protect your neck while you sit, stand, talk and play:
- Get up and move around! This might seem obvious, but sometimes it is hard to remember to do. Computer work, TV watching, reading and plenty of other activities involve a lot of staying basically in one position. You’ll be doing a lot to avoid getting your neck stuck in an uncomfortable position if you remember to change positions and move around a bit on a regular basis.
- Redesign your work space. Do you work in an office? At a computer? Is your computer “work” mostly volunteer commitments or corresponding with friends and family now that you are retired? Either way, appropriate ergonomic comfort will save you hours of discomfort in the long run.Try positioning your computer monitor at eye level so that you are required to look neither up nor down for extended periods of time. Do you use a tablet? Try propping your touch-screen on a firm pillow so that it sits at a comfortable slant, instead of lying flat on your lap which, or course, requires you to look down at an unnatural angle.
- Use better cell phone body language.Don’t strain your neck muscles by holding your phone by tilting your head. Use the hands-free/speaker phone function or wear a headset. Both Bluetooth and headsets connected with a wire are good options to avoid neck strain injuries.
- Position yourself for better sleeping: Don’t wake up feeling injured. Get a comfortable pillow that is supportive as well. So many styles and levels of firmness are available today. If your pillow is old, get a new one that cradles your neck and supports your head. If you are already in pain, remember that healing occurs during sleep hours. Sleep problems can increase the severity of preexisting musculoskeletal pain.
- Know your limits. Are you really able to move furniture, carry in ten bags of groceries, play football with your grandkids, go out for tennis without a proper warm-up and cool down? Consider what different activities might do to your neck, back and shoulders, plan appropriate levels of activity, and treat your body with care.