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Posts for category: Neck Pain

3 Ways to Improve Forward Head Posture

If your neck slants forward, and your head pokes in front of your shoulders instead of resting directly above them, you likely have what is called forward head posture. This position can strain your neck muscles and load dozens of extra pounds of pressure on your cervical spine, increasing the risk of spinal degeneration.

Forward head posture can lead to several problems, including increased pressure on the cervical spine, muscle overload, and a hunched upper back. The longer forward head posture is continued, the more likely that neck pain, stiffness, and other symptoms may develop. Read How Poor Posture Causes Neck Pain

You can help correct forward head posture over time by practicing these simple habits every day.

See How to Measure and Fix Forward Head Posture

1. Start each morning with chin tucks and chest stretches

A chin tuck exercise is quick and easy to do and it helps strengthen your upper thoracic extensors, the muscles that align your head over your shoulders.

Chin tucks are one of the key exercises recommended to help keep the head aligned above the spine.
3 Easy Neck Exercises for Neck Pain Video
  • Stand with your upper back against a wall, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Face forward, tuck your chin down, and pull your head back until it meets the wall
  • Hold the stretch for 5 seconds before resting, and repeat 10 times.

See Neck Exercises for Neck Pain

Tight chest muscles can contribute to your head jutting forward. By stretching out your pectoralis major and minor, your shoulders and head may have an easier time staying pulled back and in good posture.

The corner stretch ptovides a deep stretch of the chest and shoulders, which can help maintain good posture.
4 Easy Stretches for Neck and Shoulder Pain Video
  • Face a corner of a room or stand in a doorway. Place your forearms against each wall (or each door jamb) with your elbows slightly below shoulder level.
  • Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest under your collarbone.
  • Hold for up to a minute.

See Forward Head Posture’s Effect on Neck Muscles

Work these stretches into your morning routine. Two minutes at the beginning of each day is a simple investment that can pay big dividends for your posture. Stop immediately if any of these movements cause pain.
See Neck Stretches

2. Set up your workspace ergonomically

It’s easy to hunch your head forward when you spend most of the day sitting in a chair and staring at a screen. Arrange your workstation so that it encourages you to keep your head aligned over your shoulders.

The pacement of your desk, computer monitor, and/or keyboard can be adjusted to help keep your head and neck aligned.
Watch Video:
6 Tips to Improve Posture While Sitting
  • Raise your computer monitor so your eyes hit the top third of the screen when you look straight ahead.
  • Position your mouse and keyboard so when you use them your forearms are parallel to the floor and your elbows are bent approximately 90 degrees.
  • Buy an office chair with a headrest so you can keep the back of your head flush against the chair while working.

See Ten Tips for Improving Posture and Ergonomics

If you still find yourself slouching your neck forward, set a reminder on your phone that alerts you several times a day to check your posture.

See Posture to Straighten Your Back

3. Sleep on a cervical pillow

A cervical pillow, sometimes called an orthopedic pillow, is distinctively shaped with the center of the pillow curved inward to better support the natural curves of the head and cervical spine. The goal of the design is to keep your neck neutral rather than flexed forward. You can achieve a similar effect by sleeping on your back with a rolled towel under your neck instead of a pillow.

See Pillow Types to Consider

There’s no clear medical evidence that supports one type of pillow over another, so let personal comfort guide your decision for which pillow to use.

See Pillow Support and Comfort

You won’t correct forward head posture overnight. Commit to these tips and see if you notice an improvement over the weeks and months ahead. If your forward head posture is severe or causes pain, consult a physical therapist who can provide more guidance and options to help improve posture.

Learn more:

Neck Strengthening Exercises
Office Chair: Choosing the Right Ergonomic Office Chair

By Waterfront Chiropractic
February 12, 2019
Category: Neck Pain
Tags: Untagged

A neck spasm is when your neck muscles suddenly, involuntarily tighten. Your neck becomes painful and stiff, likely affecting your ability to turn your head. An awkward neck movement or stress-related muscle tension is often what triggers a neck spasm. While the experience may not last too long, it can be very unpleasant.

Image of a woman holding her neck in pain

Most neck spasms are caused by a sudden muscle strain.
 Neck Strain: Causes and Remedies

If you have a neck spasm, here’s a quick guide to relieving the pain.

Article continues below


Try to relax your spasming neck muscles. Stretching may be an effective method to loosen and soften your muscles, which tighten and seize up during a spasm.

See Neck Stretches

Perform a stretch that lengthens your lateral neck muscles. One way to do this is to keep your shoulders in place and tilt your ear toward your shoulder until you feel a stretch in the side of your neck. But if a certain movement causes more pain, stop it and gently try a different movement.

See Easy Levator Scapulae Stretch for Neck Pain

image of woman doing the lateral flexion stretch for neck spasm pain relief

Try these 4 stretches to relax the neck muscles, which tighten and seize up during a spasm. Watch: 4 Easy Stretches for Neck and Shoulder Pain Video

Get a massage

Massage therapy can help you relax, which may calm your tight muscles and ease the pain from your neck spasm. Gentle pressure placed on the stiff, tender points in your neck may release tension from the constricted muscles, providing relief and restoring range of motion to your neck.

See Massage Therapy for Chronic Stiff Neck


Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (e.g., Aleve), may help reduce inflammation and relieve pain brought on by a neck spasm. These medications won’t treat any underlying problems that may be setting off your neck spasm, but they can provide quick-acting first aid. Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before use.

See Medications for Back Pain and Neck Pain

Apply cold/heat therapy

Medical illustration of the different types of heat and cold therapies including hot water bottle, hot shower, heating pad, bag of ice, ice pack, cooling cream

Applying heat and/or cold therapy can help to relieve pain and inflammation in your neck.

Cold therapy can reduce local inflammation, which may help relieve pain from your neck spasm. Fill a plastic bag with ice and some water and wrap it in a thin towel, then press it against the painful area on your neck.

See Ice Packs for Back Pain Relief

You may also find relief through heat therapy. Apply a heating pad, switched on a low setting, to the tender area of your neck. If you prefer, stand in the shower with a gentle stream of warm water hitting your neck. The warmth can increase blood flow to the affected area and soothe your pain overall.

See How to Apply Heat Therapy

When applying ice or heat, limit applications to about 15 minutes every 2 hours to reduce the risk for skin damage.


Your neck spasm may indicate that your neck has moved in ways it shouldn’t, and your tense muscles probably need a rest. One way to relax is to lie on your back with a cervical pillow or neck roll under your head and a pillow under your knees. Play calming music or a podcast to help pass the time as you relax.

Watch: Pillows and Positions for Easing Neck Pain Video

Most neck spasms occur because of a sudden muscle strain and should clear up within a week. If the pain persists or gets worse, it may indicate an underlying spinal problem. If this describes your experience, visit your doctor.

Watch: Neck Strains and Sprains Video

Learn more:

Chronic Neck Pain: What Condition Is Causing My Neck Pain?

Treatment for Neck Pain

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