Saturday, September 22, 2018
Health

How to avoid that pain in the neck

Enjoy hearing from readers! This article is a result of one of those readers sending me an email expressing an interest in exercises for stretching neck muscles.

No wonder necks might want to be stretched. When you think about it, that head the neck supports weighs about 10 or 11 pounds. When you hold tension in the neck, then add bad posture, causing your head and neck to be out of alignment, your poor neck has been subjected to a lot of trauma.

And it isn't just the neck that is carrying all that tension and discomfort. Spending prolonged periods of time at a computer, walking with rounded shoulders, slumping in your car seat and poor sleeping habits can cause tightness and discomfort in your neck, as well as in your shoulder and back muscles.

Tips for reducing neck tension

• Check your "pillow posture." Sleeping on too many pillows can cause the neck to bend in an unnatural position, creating too much stress on the neck. Your head and neck should be aligned with the rest of your spine. The best sleeping position for a balanced spine is on your side or back.

• Use foam rollers to massage out trigger points. You can find them in most stores that carry exercise equipment. Look for a full-length foam roller that is 6 inches in diameter. Check with a personal trainer or physical therapist before using a roller.

• As a preventive, take breaks from being in a static position and move around. Stretch the neck, shoulders and back muscles several times a day during these breaks.

• Warm up your muscles before stretching. Stretching after a long hot shower will loosen the muscles, which is great for a morning or evening stretch. For a warmup during the day, spend a few moments performing cardio movements such as jogging in place, marching or pretending you are jumping rope.

• Never stretch to the point of pain.

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Sally Anderson is happy to hear from readers but can't respond to individual inquiries. Contact her at [email protected]

 
Comments
Too late for many, Florida’s prescription database is finally mandatory

Too late for many, Florida’s prescription database is finally mandatory

This is a story of success. Or maybe it’s a cautionary tale.The difference, I suppose, is whether you are haunted by the lives ruined and lost, or you are focused on the path going forward. Either way, you need to understand the history and the playe...
Published: 09/22/18
Tampa General nurses record the last heartbeats of dying patients, making a family memory

Tampa General nurses record the last heartbeats of dying patients, making a family memory

TAMPA — As John Reisinger waited with family at Tampa General Hospital, grief settled in like a fog. So some of the details are hazy.But he remembers the moment when three women in white lab coats approached him.The day before, his niece, Jessica Rau...
Published: 09/21/18
I was hospitalized for my eating disorder. Here's what Netflix shows get right and wrong about it.

I was hospitalized for my eating disorder. Here's what Netflix shows get right and wrong about it.

It took me a year and a half to watch Netflix’s To the Bone. The movie, which debuted in January 2017, portrays Ellen, a 20-year-old woman battling anorexia nervosa, and her experience being in and out of various treatment programs. When it w...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
All Children’s unveils a $95 million research center. Next step: ‘Cure some diseases.’

All Children’s unveils a $95 million research center. Next step: ‘Cure some diseases.’

ST. PETERSBURG — "Vicky Hopkins" is 37 weeks pregnant and splayed on a bed at Johns Hopkin’s All Children’s Hospital. Four obstetricians surround her as she groans."My back is killing me," she complains, but she keeps pushing. Soon the round shape of...
Published: 09/20/18
Watchdog slams safeguards for foster kids on psych drugs

Watchdog slams safeguards for foster kids on psych drugs

WASHINGTON — Thousands of foster children may be getting powerful psychiatric drugs prescribed to them without basic safeguards, says a federal watchdog agency that found a failure to care for youngsters whose lives have already been disrupted...
Published: 09/17/18
Doctors dismissed her, but she turned out to be right after years of needless suffering

Doctors dismissed her, but she turned out to be right after years of needless suffering

The prominent New York City gynecologist didn’t bother to conceal his disdain."Stop practicing Google medicine," Lina Kharnak remembers the doctor chiding her when she asked about a possible cause of her worsening leg and back pain. The disease about...
Published: 09/16/18
Updated: 09/17/18
Tampa General Hospital’s East Pavilion advised not to use running water after water main break

Tampa General Hospital’s East Pavilion advised not to use running water after water main break

Since Saturday morning, patients and staff in Tampa General Hospital’s East Pavilion and Rehabilitation Center have been advised against using running water.As of Sunday afternoon, it was not known when the recommended ban would be lifted.According t...
Published: 09/16/18
Anger management: Learn healthy ways to handle it, and unlearn bad behavior

Anger management: Learn healthy ways to handle it, and unlearn bad behavior

What makes you mad? Dropping your new phone in the toilet — after deciding not to take the extra coverage that would have replaced it? Being cut off in traffic? Having a parking place "stolen" from you? Doing dishes after shopping for and cooki...
Published: 09/14/18
Red Tide outbreak can be particularly bad for people with asthma or allergies

Red Tide outbreak can be particularly bad for people with asthma or allergies

The toxic algae bloom known as Red Tide has left a trail of dead fish in its wake up the western coast of Florida. The bloom that had been wreaking havoc on our southern neighbors has now made its way to the Tampa Bay area. High concentrations of the...
Published: 09/14/18
In Florida and everywhere, a big shift is underway. It’s changing the way we go to the doctor.

In Florida and everywhere, a big shift is underway. It’s changing the way we go to the doctor.

The health care business in Florida and across the nation is the midst of monumental change as insurers, hospital chains and even retailers begin to venture outside their traditional roles. Hospitals are getting into the insurance end of the busines...
Published: 09/17/18