How to Get Rid of Neck Cramps
Neck cramps – almost everyone has them at some point in their lives. They are caused by any number of factors. Stress, sitting in one position for too long, injury, strain, children, spouses and editors are all contributing factors to pain in the neck. Before you spend a great deal of money on spa treatments, baby sitters, divorce attorneys and the like, consider taking a few precautions to prevent and alleviate neck pain.
Preventing Neck Pain
Ergonomics, it is a word most of us hear everyday. As a marketer, I see that in just about every description of something that I am writing about. It’s amazing how often we see it, but pay absolutely no attention to it. All of us do it. We get comfortable, start working. The laptop is in our lap, and we spend the next two hours with our heads bowed. Unfortunately, we don’t stop until we happen to look up and our necks are stiff and sore. Prevention is the key to stopping neck aches and the like. Make sure that your display is in a natural position in front of you. Ideally, it will be at eye level if you are looking straight forward. This prevents muscle strain from bending your neck down (or up) while looking at the monitor for long periods of time. You may even want to get something like the airline pillows to brace your neck with when you know you will be working for a prolonged period of time without looking away. But sometimes, this common sense approach is not enough to stop neck pain.
Take Regular Breaks from Sitting
I always recommend taking a break from time to time. Take your eyes off the screen. Move your body. Go get yourself a cup of coffee and stretch. When we sit in one position for long periods of time, our body tenses. Hold your arm straight in front of you for a minute or two and it is no big deal. Hold it in front of you for twenty minutes, and you will see just how sore your body can get holding a single position. Take a moment, roll your shoulders, tilt your head from side to side, forward and back. Let the muscles have a moment of recovery. My personal favorite is just a long hard stretch. The kind that make co-workers stare at you as your body trembles and your face turns red. That gets the muscles stretched (learn more about how to get rid of tight muscles) out and a bit more relaxed.
Self-Massage Therapy for your Neck
Self massage is always good. Always better if you can have someone else do it for you, but office policy typically frowns on that. I start at the base of my neck and work with just my fingers down to my shoulders. When I find a sore spot, I rub there gently to try to work out any knot. This should be done with a great deal of groaning. It shows your boss how hard you are working and some poor soul may be willing to take over the shoulder rub. Take just a few moments to do this when you start to feel your neck or shoulders tighten up while you are working.
Chronic Neck Pain and Cramps
Never ignore chronic pain in the neck. Pain that does not go away should be looked at by a doctor. Perhaps going to a spa once in a while is a good idea. But if you do, pay attention to how they treat your neck and shoulders. That is something that you may be able to do for yourself from time to time to keep the pain away. For now, I’m keeping my pain in the neck away by shutting my office door.