The Pain & Injury Doctor ONLINE Newsletter

Here is your latest pain relief tip. If it doesn’t apply to you, still take note because life is full of surprises. If you know someone who is dealing with this type of pain, please forward this email to that person– thanks!

How to Eliminate Neck Stiffness

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Neck stiffness can mean a number of things.  If it comes on rather suddenly coinciding with symptoms of malaise and/or throat pain, you may have a viral infection.   See your doctor if this is the case.

Sleeping in an awkward posture, or sleeping on a cheap mattress that doesn’t provide adequate support can cause neck and back stiffness.

Forward head posture (FHP) where the head is several inches forward over the axis of the spine can lead to neck stiffness.  It is easy to develop forward head posture if you have a job that requires sitting at a desk for long hours (programmer, data entry, etc.) AND you don’t exercise regularly.

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Lastly, chronic neck stiffness can be an indicator of spinal degenerative disease, where the cervical (neck) vertebral joints lose their smooth surfaces and ligaments thicken and contract.

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For the vast majority of cases, neck stiffness is due to a combination of forward head posture and early to mid stage spinal degenerative disease.    Here are some suggestions on reducing and perhaps eliminating this presentation of neck stiffness:

Get a TempurPedic Neck Pillow

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I recommend TempurPedic mattresses because they are unsurpassed in distributing the weight of your body as you sleep.  This means less pressure points under the heavy areas of the hip, upper back, head and calves.  The tossing and turning one does during sleep is caused by the subconscious brain telling you to shift positions because the pressure point areas are not receiving enough circulation.  With a Tempurpedic mattress there is less obstruction to circulation, less tossing and turning enabling a better night’s sleep.

The TempurPedic neck pillow has contoured, convex edges that help restore and support the neck’s natural lordotic curvature.  In forward head posture, this curvature is missing, and even reversed in some people.  Investing in one of these pillows is a smart way to keep your neck flexible.


Use a VariDesk Stand Up Desk

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When you stand, some good things happen.  First of all, your lower back doesn’t bow out like it does when you are sitting.  It instinctively forms the natural lumbar lordosis– the small inward curve of the low back.  In this position, the lumbar spine is the strongest as the facet joints interlock for extra support, and the discs are protected (from bulging backwards).

Secondly, the leg and postural muscles of the spine engage during standing.  When you sit, these muscles are “turned off”, which can lead to muscle weakness and loss of muscular coordination/synergy.  Prolonged sitting can also lead to edema (fluid retention) in the legs due to inactivity.

Standing also encourages better neck posture, especially if you put your work area directly in front at eye level.

The VariDesk is a quick and affordable solution that will enable you to switch between standing and sitting.  Buy one of these, and set a goal to stand during 25% of your work day.  Then, work up to 50%.  This will do wonders for you posture and will strengthen your back.

 


Use a PosturePump Cervical Disc Rehydrator Daily

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This device, when used daily, can help restore the normal cervical curvature to your neck (check with your doctor first).  You lie down on your back with the device under your neck.  Place the head and chin strap on, and pump up the elliptical air bladders using a small hand pump.  This lifts up your neck into an arch, and separates the vertebrae which hydrates the discs.

When your neck curvature is restored it will balance the weight of your head with less effort.  This means your neck muscles won’t have to work as hard, and you neck stiffness will improve.

Below is a video where I explain in more detail how the PosturePump Cervical Disc Rehydrator works:

For more detailed, step-by-step guidance on permanently resolving chronic muscle and joint pain, visit

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The information contained in this email and on www.PainandInjuryDoctor.com is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as a medical directive. It is provided as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dan Perez, D.C. Every person is unique, and individual cases of pain are therefore unique. Dr. Perez encourages readers of PainandInjuryDoctor.com to use available sources of information to help them make a more educated and informed decision regarding their health, in partnership with one or more qualified health care professionals.

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