Even though a neck crick can hurt when it first shows up, it usually subsides within a few days.
In the meantime, Dr. Charles Kim, a musculoskeletal expert and assistant professor in the departments of rehabilitative medicine and anesthesiology at NYU School of Medicine, recommends light stretches to ease the pain. He says you should generally be able to loosen some of the tension that way. Gently massaging that sore part of your neck in a hot shower can help, especially if the injury caused some inflammation. Also, taking aspirin or ibuprofen should reduce discomfort too. Inflammation can make the pain last about a week.
If the pain lasts longer than a couple weeks, or if it’s accompanied by numbness, tingling, or arms falling asleep — that’s potentially a sign of a pinched nerve, an injury that can cause especially sharp and lasting pain. In those extreme cases, you will need to see a doctor. You can always book an appointment at South Texas Spinal Clinic at http://spinaldoc.com/appointments/
HOW TO AVOID CRICKS IN THE FUTURE
If this happens more than occasionally, it may be a sign that you need to make some changes.
To start, set up a workstation that allows you to keep your spine in a neutral position. Have your computer monitor at eye level.
Focusing on posture is important, too. A standing desk can help, but even better is a workstation that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing.
In bed, changing pillows can help. If you use too many pillows, your head will bend one way, while one very soft pillow might not provide enough support.
Finally, exercise is key. While athletes generally strain their muscles more than the rest of us, they’re usually well-conditioned enough that their muscles are less likely to suffer these office-derived overuse injuries. Spend some time strengthening your back, neck, and core, and your body will thank you.
“We’re not designed as humans to be sitting in front of a computer all day, we need to be active,” says Kim. “You may think that inactivity doesn’t cause pain, but it causes a lot of pain.”
This Article originally appeared on spinaldoc.com