How to Prevent Neck Strain Injuries
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Signs of Neck Strain Injuries
These signs show that the likelihood of having neck strain injuries.
- Pain when moving the head sideways, forward or backward
- Pain of stiffness in the process of moving the head to look over the shoulder
- Decreased range of motion on the neck with pain and tightness that cause muscles to feel knotted or hard.
- Headaches with pain that radiates towards the forehead from the base of the skull
The pain from neck strain injury can be immediate or in some instances take hour or days before the neck starts hurting.
Sometimes it could be necessary to determine if the cause of pain on the is a neck strain injury or a symptom of another illness. A doctor may use computed tomography(CT) scans, X-rays or other tests to diagnose whiplash and rule out other problems.
Tips to Prevent Neck Strain Injuries
The leading cause of most neck strain injuries is poor posture mostly when it combines with aging-relating wear and tear. You can prevent neck strain by changing your position when doing some of the daily routines.
Take and maintain good posture
Ensure that you stand and sit with the shoulders in a straight line over the hips with the ears directly over the shoulders.
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Place the computer at eye level
It is essential to adjust the desk, computer and the chair for the monitor to be at the most comfortable position which is the eye level. Sit while placing the knees slightly lower than the hips and use the armrests on the chair for support.
Sitting while bending over a computer for long hours causes neck strain injury.it is essential to avoid slouching or leaning the head forward. A safe position is to sit on the chair with firm support on the lower back with feet firmly on the floor. Make sure that you relax the shoulders. Drivers should adjust the car seat to an upright position that helps to support the head and lower back. A safe sitting position allows the arms to be slightly flexed and comfortable. Straining for the steering wheel when traveling long distances is likely to cause neck strain injuries.
Do not cradle the phone between the ear and shoulder
Tucking the phone between the shoulder and ear to talks while working on another task strains the neck muscles. It is an unnatural position that makes the neck susceptible to strain injury. Using a speakerphone or headset is the safe alternative to slipping the phone between the ear and neck. Using a document holder helps in securing the reference paperwork on the same level with the computer screen.
Sleep in an appropriate position
Sleeping with the neck and head aligning with the body helps to prevent straining of the neck. A small pillow under the neck helps in enhancing support. Sleeping on the back with the laps elevated on a pillow helps in flattening the spinal muscles.
Lift manageable weight
Do not carry heavy luggage such as bags with straps on your shoulders. The weight can strain the neck and cause whiplash. It is also important to only lift light weights even for exercising or sports. Lifting heavy weights cause or worsen the stiffness and pain from neck strain injuries. When lifting anything, the proper technique is to let the knees to take the pressure but not the back.
Avoid siting for long
Do not sit for too long behind the desk or traveling long distance. Moving around helps in stretching the neck and shoulders. It is necessary to change positions and walk about if you are working on something overhead.
The neck helps in head movement and contain vital anatomical structures such as airway, blood vessels as well as the spinal cord.it is important to try everything that helps in preventing neck strain injuries.