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Tips for Managing Neck Pain

Neck pain can be caused by trauma, inflammation and even repetitive stress on related structures. In fact, among repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), neck and shoulder pain were most common at 25%, with wrist and hand pain coming a close second at 23%. Interestingly, a large portion (55%) of RSIs occur while on the job and unfortunately some occupations are more at risk. 

Self-management

  1. Movement: Avoid sitting or standing for too long, as poor posture and sedentary behaviour are key causes of neck pain. Schedule frequent breaks into your day to get up and move.
  2. Ergonomics: Check your work station set up to make sure it is optimized for your musculoskeletal health! Remember to sit with your spine in a neutral position, avoid jutting your chin forward or rounding your shoulders and keep your back muscles engaged.
  3. Relax: Many of us hold stress and tension in the muscles surrounding our neck and shoulders, and this may cause pain or discomfort. By integrating relaxation techniques into your day, you can ease the tension, refocus and relieve the pain. Try breathing exercises, gentle stretches, walk at lunch or after dinner, get a massage or sign up for a yoga class.

Treatment

Quite a bit of research has been conducted into effective treatments for neck pain. The Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative has a number of valuable resources for patients suffering from neck pain. At Assured Health Group, the number one recommendation is to return to normal levels of activity as soon as possible, consider reading self-management materials and introduce daily at-home exercises as directed by your chiropractor to your routine.

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