- When on the computer, make sure that your monitor is at eye level and not below it. Sit up nice and straight, and remind yourself not to tilt your head downwards as you look at your screen
- When on the phone, try to hold it up to your eyes rather than bending your neck to see the screen. Take regular breaks every 15 or 30 minutes, and try not to use it for hours at a time
- When driving, ensure that your back is straight and that you take breaks every so often. Stretch your neck slowly from side-to-side whenever you are stopped
Stretching exercises begin from a single idea: reminding your neck of its own range and mobility. This consists of simple exercises, such as:
- Bend your neck left and right, letting your ear touch your shoulder from side to side. Repeat 10 times
- Straighten your back, lift your head, and press your shoulder blades together. Repeat 10 times
- Press your head back into a head rest or a pillow and press your hands over your head, pushing it back. Stay in this position for up to 30 seconds
- Slowly lift your shoulders, and then roll them back in a circular movement. Repeat 10 times
Stiff neck can also be caused by sleeping in an improper position, which is mainly when you sleep on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach leads to twisting your neck on one side and sleeping on that for an entire night.
By sleeping on your side or back, your neck stays aligned in its natural position with your body. But by sleeping on your stomach, you sacrifice your body’s natural support for your neck.
Need more help? Here are some other small changes you can add to your daily routine to help with neck pain:
- Neck and back massages
- Slow but gradual neck movements throughout the day
- Pain medication—ibuprofen
- Heat or ice therapy; press an ice pack or a hot compress to the swollen area and rotate every 48 hours
- Check the stability of your bed. A firm bed with a small pillow or no pillow is best for stiff neck