Nothing makes me crankier than a stiff neck, and once it comes on, it’s awfully hard to get rid of. When I go out to any social occasion, I tuck a good supply of Tylenol™ or Ibuprofen™ in my purse.
I’ve been doing some research on the whole problem and was pleasantly surprised that there are steps I can take on my own that not only help the pain, but keep my neck in the best condition possible.
Here are five tips to reduce chronic neck pain in menopause:
Put Your Computer at Eye Level
Sit down at your computer and close your eyes. When you open them, you should be looking directly in the middle of your computer screen. If that is not the case, you will need to raise the height of the monitor.
Laptops are a little trickier, since you usually have to gaze downward to see the screen. An easy fix is to hook it up to a separate monitor.
Use a Backpack
It is a natural tendency to stuff everything you’ll need for the day in your purse or briefcase, and the weight is usually all on one side of the body. Use a backpack and the weight will be more evenly distributed across your shoulders.
Sleep on Your Back
If you sleep on your back, your spine will be more comfortable. To take even more pressure off your neck, place a pillow under each arm.
Try an Orthopedic Pillow
You want to sleep on a pillow that keeps your cervical spine in alignment, and an orthopedic pillow has a deeper depression where your head lies, giving extra support to the neck.
If you must sleep on your side, try the Biosense 2-1 Shoulder Pillow. This lightweight memory foam has a special cut-out for the shoulders, and keeps your head, neck, and shoulders in proper alignment while you sleep.
Do Stretching/Strengthening Exercises
As you go about your daily routine, make time to do some neck exercises. Stretching the neck preserves your range of motion, and helps relieve stiffness.
Strengthening exercises will help maintain improved posture, and prevent future flare-ups. These exercises should be done every other day so the muscles have time to repair themselves.