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PopSugar: Here's What to Do If You Battle Neck Pain

PopSugar recently interviewed Neel Anand, MD, professor of orthopedic surgery and director of spine trauma at the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center, about what to do if you battle neck pain – and when it’s time to see a physician. 

Anand told PopSugar that there are several lifestyle factors that can contribute to a sore neck, including sitting at a computer or staring at a phone or tablet for a prolonged period of time. Poor posture from a muscular imbalance – such as weak abdominal muscles – also can be a contributing factor, along with carrying a heavy bag or purse on one side of your body.

“Even your pillow can contribute to neck pain,” Anand told PopSugar

The most important thing, according to PopSugar: Keep moving. If you have a desk job, make sure you get up every hour or two to walk around the office and stretch. Also, making sure your desk set-up is ergonomically sound is key to keeping your neck pain-free.

Outside of the office, Anand suggests to many of his patients that they look into purchasing cervical contour pillows, which can help properly align your neck and spine. 

“If you have a firmer mattress, you'll need a thicker pillow because there is less cushion for your shoulders to sink into, creating more space between your mattress and head,” Anand told Pop Sugar. “If you have a memory foam mattress, a thinner pillow will help compensate for your shoulders sinking into the bed.”

An ordinary bout of neck pain should last up to a week. If it doesn't improve -- or even gets worse -- it's time to see a physician, expecially if the neck pain is accompanied with fever, numbness or tingling, weakness in your arms or legs, nausea, headaches, changes in vision, dizziness, or fainting. If your neck began hurting after an accident or a fall, you should see a physician to make sure it's nothing serious. The same goes if your neck pain is accompanied by night sweats and unexplained changes in your weight, because the neck pain could be a symptom of an infection.  

Click here to read the complete article from PopSugar.

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Yoga at Your Desk