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General Management: -

1. In young individuals presenting with back pain nonoperative measures such as physiotherapy are usually successful in resolving pain, and occasionally a plaster jacket can resolve symptoms.

2. Develop stress-management skills through relaxation techniques, such as progressive relaxation or abdominal breathing. For progressive relaxation, find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Sit or lie down and close your eyes. Then, starting with your head and neck and working down the entire body, tense and then completely release muscles.

For abdominal breathing, sit quietly and take a deep breath all the way into your abdomen. Then exhale completely, gently sucking in your stomach. Breathe deeply like this for several minutes.

3. Use massage.

Massage can help ease tense muscles and give temporary relief, and it may help you sleep better. First, take a hot bath or shower to relax the muscles. Then, have a partner use oil or lotion and rub your neck and shoulders using small circles with gentle pressure. Next, have him or her rub your neck and shoulders using firm pressure and long, downward strokes. Don't forget the chest area. If you don't have a willing partner, try rubbing your own neck and chest area with oil or lotion for 10 or 15 minutes.

4. Practice good posture.

The head and spine balance in relation to gravity. When poor posture pulls the curve of the lower back forward, the upper back curves further backward to compensate.

5. Strengthen stomach muscles.

Just as poor posture and obesity can cause the neck to become overstrained, poor muscle tone in the stomach muscles forces the upper back to curve farther backward and the neck to curve forward. Do exercises like bent-knee sit-ups to strengthen abdominal muscles.

6. Do neck exercises.

Two types of neck exercises can help ease and prevent neck pain:

  1. gentle range-of-motion exercises
  2. isometric exercises.

Apply moist heat to the neck before performing the exercises. Each exercise should be done five times per session, three sessions per day.

  1. Gentle range of motion exercises: - Range-of-motion exercises help stretch neck muscles. Sit erect and relaxed. Slowly turn your head to the right as far as you can, hold, and return it to the center. Repeat to the left. Then drop your chin down slowly toward your chest, hold, and relax. Bring your head back up. Now tilt your head toward your left shoulder, hold, and return to the center. Do the same on the right side. And finally, tilt your head backward so you're looking at the ceiling, hold, and then bring it back to the center.
  2. Isometric exercises: - Isometric exercises are performed against resistance without moving your head. Sitting erect and relaxed, press your forehead into your palm, and resist any motion. Then press your hand against the right side of your head. Push your head, trying to bring your ear to your shoulder, but resist any motion. Press both hands against the back of your head. Try to pull your head up, but resist the motion. And finally, press your hand against your temple, try to turn your chin to your shoulder, but resist the motion.

7. Work at eye level.

People often get "desk neck" from looking down for long periods or from reaching up to work. If possible, always work at eye level. Change the height of your chair, desk, or computer screen; use an upright stand to hold reading material; and use a stepladder instead of reaching up.

8. Take frequent breaks.

Change positions often, especially if you have to be in a physically stressful position.

Get up and walk around at least once an hour.

9. Unlearn "neck-bashing" habits.

Do you crimp the phone between your neck and shoulder? Do you shave with your head tilted back? Do you shampoo your hair in the sink? All of these habits can cause neck strain. Become aware of habits that strain your neck and replace them with neck-healthy ones.

10. Sleep on a firm mattress.

If you wake in the morning with a stiff or sore neck, your mattress, pillow, or sleeping habits are probably the culprit. Use a firm mattress and keep your head level. Don't sleep on your stomach, since it forces your head up. Avoid pillows that are too thick. Try feather or crushed-foam pillows rather than those of solid foam rubber.