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HOW TO AVOID A PAIN IN THE NECK

HOW TO AVOID A PAIN IN THE NECK

No, we don't mean your ex. Most of us pay very little attention to our necks. They are simply something to hold our heads up and a place to put scarves. This important part of your body deserves more attention, or it will protest with pain.

WHY CAN NECKS CAUSE PROBLEMS?

The muscular structure of the neck is extremely complex. Neck muscles control the movement of the head in all directions, and also play a part in chewing, swallowing, eye movement and facial expressions. There is a lot to go wrong.

IS GOOD POSTURE NATURAL?

We all start life with good posture. Two and three year olds naturally hold their heads well with a neutral spine. Even a sitting baby does this, as the correct head-up posture balances the spine and is easier to hold. Screens, books and modern life tend to override these good habits, and that can cause neck problems.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO HELP MY NECK?

Paying attention to everyday life posture will really help your neck and back. Keep hips, shoulders and head in a line, sit properly and think how you carry items.

A strong core is essential so make sure you are working on your core when you exercise.

Maintain proper form when doing exercise, particularly with crunches and sit-ups. Don’t lace hands behind your head, as that can encourage you to pull your neck forward. Position your head by imagining an egg held between your chin and your chest. Too far forward and the egg breaks, too far back and the egg falls (and breaks).

WHAT ABOUT NECK EXERCISES?

There are a couple of simple exercises that you can do to ease neck tension. Try ten each of these.

Neck tilt: sit tall in a supportive chair, arms down by your sides. Lower your chin slowly to your chest, raise again, repeat.

Neck turn: stand tall and straight. Turn your head slowly to one side as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for five seconds, return to neutral and then repeat on the other side.

Don’t wind your neck in, stretch it out!

 

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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