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New Study Confirms That Yoga Improves Anxiety Symptoms

New Study Confirms That Yoga Improves Anxiety Symptoms


If you want to improve your anxiety symptoms, you may want to try yoga for relief. Yoga means union of the body and soul or individual consciousness with Universal consciousness. It allows you to see the actual reality of existence beyond just the limited ego. While liberation from body consciousness remains the real goal of yoga, it can significantly benefit one’s mental health.

Because yoga leads to perfect harmony between mind and body, your anxiety will naturally melt away once you reach the highest consciousness. When you unite your consciousness with the highest source of intelligence, your mind will cease to cause suffering to the body. While yoga in the west seems to focus more on conditioning the body, the real goal is the liberation of consciousness.

While the yogic system is designed for upgrading one’s consciousness, the benefits for the mind and body are just as significant.

Health benefits of yoga

1 – Decreases stress.

Studies have shown that the practice can decrease cortisol levels, the primary stress hormone. One study of 131 people showed that after ten weeks of consistent yoga practice, their stress and anxiety decreased dramatically.

2 – Reduces anxiety.

Yoga can help improve anxiety symptoms by promoting relaxation and stress-reduction techniques. For example, in one study of 64 women with PTSD, the women had fewer symptoms after practicing for ten weeks. 52% of participants no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD after doing yoga just once weekly during the study period.

3 – Lowers inflammation.

One study in 2015 divided 218 participants into two groups. One group practiced yoga, and the other did strenuous physical exercise. At the end of the course, the yoga group had lower inflammatory markers than the non-yoga group.

4 – Improves heart health.

High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent risk factors for heart disease. One study found that participants over 40 years old who practiced yoga for five years maintained a lower pulse rate and blood pressure than the individuals who didn’t. Not to mention, yoga helps lower stress, which also contributes to heart disease risk.

5 – Helps reduce depression symptoms.

Depression remains the leading cause of disabilities worldwide; however, yoga may help alleviate these symptoms. One study found that after just two weeks of practice, participants had fewer depression symptoms and lower cortisol levels. They also had lower ACTH levels, a hormone that releases cortisol into the body.

6 – Improves sleep quality. 

Yoga can help increase the production of melatonin, which regulates sleep cycles. Lower stress levels due to yoga may also contribute to better sleep quality.

7 – Reduces chronic pain.

In one study, 42 people who struggled with carpal tunnel syndrome either did yoga for eight weeks or received wrist splints. By the end of the trial, researchers found that yoga reduced pain and improved grip strength more than the splints did.

We could list even more health benefits of yoga, but we want to discuss primarily how yoga can improve anxiety symptoms. Millions of people suffer with different types of anxiety disorders worldwide, and symptoms may range from mild to severe. However, yoga could provide a cure to this often debilitating disease.

Here’s how yoga can help ease anxiety symptoms:

 A new study shows how yoga can ease symptoms in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This condition causes excessive worry or nervousness about everyday life and can take over someone’s mind. People with this disorder display pronounced anxiety most days for at least six months about many different aspects of life.

Symptoms include the following:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating, the mind drawing a blank.
  • Becoming irritable
  • Having muscle tensions
  • Difficulty in controlling feelings of concern, fear, or worry
  • Having sleep problems. These issues include difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep

The research on generalized anxiety disorder

Anyone with anxiety knows of the great suffering that can come with this disorder. It feels like you have little to zero control over your mind and body, and some people even experience dissociation in extreme cases. Scientists have found how yoga can provide relief to those suffering from GAD.

Led by a research team at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, the study found that yoga could treat GAD better than education on stress management. However, they discovered that it didn’t improve anxiety symptoms quite as much as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

“Generalized anxiety disorder is a very common condition, yet many are not willing or able to access evidence-based treatments,” said lead study author Naomi M. Simon, MD, a professor and researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. “Our findings demonstrate that yoga, which is safe and widely available, can improve symptoms for some people with this disorder and could be a valuable tool in an overall treatment plan.”

Published August 12, 2020, in JAMA Psychiatry, the study assigned 226 men and women with GAD to three groups: CBT, Kundalini yoga, or stress-management education. After three months, researchers found that both CBT and yoga had more significant impacts on anxiety than stress management. Indeed, 54 percent of those who practiced yoga had significant improvements in symptoms compared to only 33 percent in the stress management group. In the CBT group, 71 percent met the symptom improvement criteria.

At the six month follow-up, the CBT group still showed more significant improvements than the stress education group (the control group). However, yoga no longer had the same benefits, suggesting that CBT may improve anxiety symptoms more effectively.

The study

 For the CBT group, the study used an evidence-based protocol for the treatment of GAD. This therapy included the following:

  • education on psychology;
  • cognitive interventions focused on identifying and correcting maladaptive thoughts;
  • muscle relaxation techniques.

The Kundalini yoga group learned physical postures, breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, yoga theory, and meditation/mindfulness. The stress-management education control group listened to lectures about how stress affects the physiological, psychological, and medical aspects of health. They also learned how lifestyle factors could improve anxiety symptoms, such as reducing alcohol and smoking, eating healthy, and exercising. They listened to educational material on stress, lifestyle, and diet for homework assignments as well.

Three to six participants at a time received one of the three treatments over 12 weeks. They had weekly two-hour sessions with 20 minutes of daily homework assignments.

So, does yoga improve anxiety symptoms?

Currently, around 6.8 million Americans suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, many of them don’t get proper treatment for it out of shame, fear, or lack of resources. It can impair someone’s life if not treated properly, however. Most people have expressed feelings of anxiety at some point in their life; however, it becomes a disorder when it significantly impacts daily routines.

The study above shows that, while yoga can effectively ease symptoms of anxiety, CBT still ranks highest in treating the disorder. Medications can also treat anxiety, but not everyone wants to take the risk of having adverse side effects or complications from them. Also, the lack of access to medication or therapy prevents many people from seeing improvements in their anxiety symptoms. Because of this, yoga may prove useful for those who have no other options, as you can practice for free in your own home.

“Many people already seek complementary and alternative interventions, including yoga, to treat anxiety,” said Dr. Simon. “This study suggests that at least short-term there is significant value for people with a generalized anxiety disorder to give yoga a try to see if it works for them. Yoga is well-tolerated, easily accessible, and has several health benefits.”

Dr. Simon suggests that research in the future should try to narrow down who would benefit the most from yoga for GAD. That way, therapists and healthcare providers can personalize treatment to ensure better results for their patients.

“We need more options to treat anxiety because different people will respond to different interventions, and having more options can help overcome barriers to care,” she said. “Having a range of effective treatments can increase the likelihood people with anxiety will be willing to engage in evidence-based care.”

Final thoughts on how yoga can improve anxiety symptoms

As the study above shows, yoga has a vast potential to ease symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. The practice helps promote feelings of calm and relaxation by reducing cortisol levels, and it brings awareness back into the body. The best part is that anyone in any age group can do yoga and reap all the benefits from it. No matter what ailment you may suffer from, you can see results from the practice if you keep consistency.

While cognitive-behavioral therapy still comes out on top for treating anxiety, this doesn’t mean you can’t practice yoga as well. Plus, it provides an excellent option for those who don’t have access to therapy or don’t feel comfortable with it. Besides, yoga does more than improve anxiety symptoms – it also lessens depression, inflammation, and chronic pain. If you haven’t started your practice, you can find plenty of free resources online to help you.

Lifestyle

12 Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance Women Should Never Ignore

12 Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance Women Should Never Ignore


Are you suffering from a hormonal imbalance? When you mention hormones, people automatically think of a teenager with acne that they can’t control. Another thought that comes to mind is a pregnant lady with mood swings and cravings that drive her mad.

While those things are examples of hormonal problems, things take a dramatic shift during menopause that is not so kind. Dealing with zits and pregnancy problems can be severe, but nothing prepares a lady for the hormonal fluctuations that occur during menopause.

You might be tempted to take some hormonal replacement that can help you through this challenging time, but it’s not advisable as these are known to increase your chance of cancer.

These Twelve Symptoms Indicate a Potential Hormonal Imbalance in Women

How do you know if you’re having problems with your hormones, and is there a way to combat these issues naturally? Here are some signs that you’ve got a hormonal imbalance, and your body is reeling from the fluctuations.

1. Hot Flashes

Perhaps the hallmark of a hormonal imbalance is hot flashes. Do you feel like one minute you could stand on an iceberg and still be hot, and the next, you’re under a pile of covers? These are signs that your hormones are fluctuating.

When your estrogen level drops, it sends a signal to activate the brain’s region that controls temperature, which is the hypothalamus. Your body quickly tries to step in and accommodate for the loss of these vital hormones, but all it does is make you feel uncomfortable.

2. Unable to Focus

Science reveals how you can have laser-sharp focus again.

You have several neurotransmitters in your brain that help you with regulating your body. Estrogen is one of the hormones that allow you to control your serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. When your estrogen is low, your hormonal imbalance is more noticeable as your neurotransmitters’ supply is depleted.

3. Skin Pigment Issues

No one wants to deal with pigment issues, which are also called liver spots. Yet, these unsightly issues seem to pop up in the 40s and 50s.

Hyperpigmentation is caused by the body not repairing damage from the sun and other factors as quickly as it did in the past. It’s best to wear a high strength sunscreen to prevent any of these spots from forming.

4. Weight Gain

When your hormones are out of whack, your weight can fluctuate. Most women notice they get what is known as “middle-age spread” as the weight gain takes hold. Your hormones control your metabolism, so an imbalance can cause it to be sluggish.

Your metabolism naturally slows as you age, so you must be careful about binging a box of cookies as your body can’t get rid of those calories as quickly as it did before.

5. Excessive Sweating

It seems like a woman’s body is like a pop song, “You’re hot, then you’re cold.” It’s because your internal thermostat is on the fritz. Not only will you experience hot bursts, but you will also wake up in a puddle of sweat.

Keeping a fan on you during the night can help to combat the excessive heat your body is trying to rid. Don’t get too frustrated with yourself; as soon as you dress to accommodate your sweat, you will be freezing and need a blanket.

6. Facial Hair

As if life isn’t cruel enough during menopause, you now have hairs popping up in places where they don’t belong. Hirsutism is male-like hair growth that appears on a woman’s body, and it’s a pain. You may notice you can grow a beard or mustache just like your husband.

Don’t panic when you see these extra hairs, and don’t shave them off either. Shaving only makes them coarser and blunter, which feels awful to the touch. There are many methods to remove these hairs permanently and without using a razor.

Do you want to walk around with a five o’clock shadow? This is one time when you need lasers to remove these hairs to live your life without embarrassment.

7. Moodiness

Do you ever get so cranky that you can’t even stand being around yourself? It happens to all women as they go through “The Change.” You feel like your body is giving out on you, and it’s doing things that you never thought possible.

The hormonal imbalances can get the best of you, and it will display in your mood. Try to go easy on your family as they need you. If you notice that your attitude is off and you feel like you could snap at someone who even looks at you, then consider herbal treatments for mood stabilization.

When your hormones are shifting, and all over the place, you don’t want to take it out on your family. Many natural remedies can help you with this issue, such as St. John’s Wart.

8. Menstrual Cycles are Erratic

Not only are you unable to focus, moody, and having hot flashes, but you will also notice that your periods are erratic. You might even feel you’re pregnant when you start missing your periods.

Never rule out pregnancy in the late 40s and even into the early 50s because the change of life babies will pop up. If you’ve always been regular, you may find it hard to track your cycle when it never comes when it should, is heavier or lighter than usual, and seems to have a mind of its own. Many women have a procedure called an ablation that burns away the uterus’ lining when their periods become too heavy to manage.

It’s the luck of the draw as to what your cycle will do. It may just go away peacefully, and you will never have to deal with it again, or it may go out with a vengeance. Just don’t make any plans to set your calendar by each month due to all the hormonal imbalances in your body.

9. Hair is Falling Out

The one thing you thought you could always count on is your gorgeous locks, and now you see a pile of hair in the shower drain after you bathe. It’s terrifying to see your hair get thinner as it falls out. It’s yet another problem caused by your hormones.

You should know that many things can change your hair, including your thyroid. So, if you see bald patches and thinning, it might not be because of menopause entirely. Alopecia areata is a common problem that affects both men and women.

Though you may find it embarrassing, most stylists know precisely how to cut your hair to hide the thinning or bald spots. A new hairdo may be just what you need. When the areas become too large or the thinning too great, you can try hairpieces or wigs to help cover them.

There are treatment options available that treat the scalp directly, but most find that as soon as they stop using them, the hair they gained quickly falls out.

10. Pimples and Skin Blemishes

You thought you were done with pimples and facial blemishes, but here you are going through menopause and dealing with adult acne. You must make sure you don’t have a condition called rosacea, as it is a form of blemishes that can look like regular acne.

If it’s not rosacea, then you see an outward manifestation of an inner hormonal imbalance. There are many things that you can do to combat this problem. If you want an all-natural treatment, tea tree oil is among the best. Mix a few drops of this essential oil into a mask and apply it to your face.

Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is the foundation of a blemish. It’s by far the most used natural remedy because it works. There’s no use in wasting money on over-the-counter creams that do take care of the blemishes but also dry the skin out horribly.

11. Headaches

All these changes in your body can cause headaches. There are many different types of head pains, and various things cause them. You may experience stress and tension from muscle aches and discomforts, causing the neck and back to ache.

When your neck is out of place, then it can cause severe headaches. Just note that these are common occurrences that will probably stick around during these times of fluctuation.

12. Digestive Issues

Another problem you might notice is digestive issues. You may experience gas, bloating, and other problems like diarrhea or constipation. So you must monitor the foods you eat to combat the problems you’re having. Additionally, you may need to boost your fiber intake and decrease the carbohydrate and fat intake. This adjustment might take a touch of trial and error, but it will offer you tremendous relief.

Final Thoughts on Identifying a Hormonal Imbalance

Menopause can be an exceedingly difficult time in a woman’s life, but it’s nothing that you can’t overcome. Before going to your doctor to get estrogen replacements, try something natural to calm your hormones. There are many foods and spices high in estrogen that can help with the fluctuations.

Try adding eggs, chives, baker’s yeast, garlic, and dairy products to your diet. There are many ways to combat this difficult time in life, and your body will soon level out, and you will experience a new normal.

Lifestyle

12 Depressive Disorder Symptoms to Never Ignore

12 Depressive Disorder Symptoms to Never Ignore


If you suspect that you or a loved one is struggling with depressive disorder symptoms, it is time to find help. This condition can linger for weeks and spiral out of control if left untreated.

Those who have depressive disorders exhibit more prevalent and more significant feelings of despair. These signs occur over a longer timeframe than ordinary unhappiness or sadness.

Depression warning signs should never be overlooked. Someone with the following symptoms should talk to their primary or mental health care provider. Friends or loved ones who showing these signs should be motivated to do the same.

12 Depressive Disorder Symptoms to Never Ignore

Here are eleven of the earliest indicators you might have a depressive disorder and not just feelings of sadness.

depressive

1 – Irritability Is A Common Symptom Of Depression

Do your loved ones express that they feel they must walk on eggshells around you?

People with depression can quite often become irritable. And if a particular daily task causes one some sort of irritation or impatience, but ends up becoming incredibly frustrated, it may be due to depression. Even simple things can lead to horrible behavior, even if events are not necessarily worth the outburst. If you experience these responses, it may potentially stem from depression.

People with depression often feel frustration and irritability, as well as hopelessness and suffering. Do not ignore if you sense growing irritability.

2 – Sleep Pattern Changes Deprivation

Although an occasional rough night or two does not usually induce depression, a sign of depression may be chronic sleep issues or insomnia. Despite feeling tired, many people with symptoms of chronic depression have trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep.

Some individuals who live with chronic depression struggle with changing sleep patterns. At times, they struggle to wake up in the morning. Then, they can’t wait until they get to bed in the evening and might even take afternoon naps. You must discuss your sleep patterns with your doctor is this pattern emerges.

Depression will vaporize your energy and, much of the time, leaves you feeling sluggish and exhausted.

Most people are reluctant to admit their exhausted, giving excuses.

Oh, I haven’t been sleeping very well recently.”

“My job overwhelmed me with a too-heavy workload that makes me tired.”

However, if you are unable to sleep because of feeling overwhelmed in some way, you might be depressed.

3 – Feelings of Outrage and Anger

Those with depressive disorder symptoms are quick to anger or outrage.  Some express the sentiment that life is unfair. If you or someone you care about flies into fits of rage, it could be depression. Additionally, they may feel outraged at perceived slights or situations they feel are unfair.

depression quote

4 – Abnormal Mood Swings

Many things in life can change our mood. Extreme mood swings can be a symptom of mental illness, mainly when the mood is drastic, abrupt, or ‘out of the blue.’ An example of this is frustration over something that usually goes unnoticed. Take note whether you or someone you love unexpectedly has emotional explosions or mood swings.

5 – Low Self-Esteem

Symptoms of chronic depression also may cause individuals to struggle with poor self-esteem. This feeling becomes a “norm” for some depression-sufferers, so they no longer realize it.

Such feelings of a lack of self-worth often cause a person to withdraw from his typical interests and even get away from family and friends. In time, they prefer to view themselves in the worst light possible. Sadly, this only increases their self-loathing emotions and further feeds their sense of worthlessness.

6 – Carrying Around Heavy Guilt

It’s not necessary to blame yourself unfairly for events in your life. Carrying a heavy load of guilt weighs you down and can trigger depressive symptoms.

Whether you went through a tumultuous divorce or experience trauma as a child, you carry the weight. Many people even feel useless or unable to resolve this guilt.

Pay attention to your inner monologue. These thoughts could be a sign of depression on an intense level.

If you or someone around you lately started taking new risks, it may be an indication of a continued struggle with internal turbulence. Unfortunately, these risky forms of dysfunctional coping skills provide only temporary relief. And, they can worsen depression in the long term.

7 – Forgetfulness (or Frequently Losing Things)

If you are tired or feeling like you’re in a fog, it could be an indication you’re stressed or depressed. Individuals with depression often lose or forget regular things, such as car keys or documents.

Although the modern world today leaves most of us a little overwhelmed, issues with focus and memory can also stem from other mental health conditions. Consider the likelihood that your depression could be an undiagnosed mental illness. Ask for help from a mental health professional.

8 – Noticeable Changes In Eating Habits

Too much or too little eating may indicate an individual living with depression. Many people crave a surplus of food while some lose their appetite or eat far less than usual because of their poor mood. Such changes can cause a person to begin to gain or lose weight.

A dramatic increase in weight can also worsen depression, which can affect the self-esteem of an individual. Physiological factors can also be important. For one, excess fat is associated with increased inflammation in the body. This too, can correspond to or increase the intensity of depressive symptoms.

9 – Exhaustion and Fatigue

Those who struggle with depressive symptoms often feel excessively tired.

Studies show as high as 90% of people with depression experience fatigue more frequently than individuals that are not depressed. While everyone is exhausted occasionally, people with extreme or chronic exhaustion, especially when it involves other symptoms, may have suppressed depression.

People who are chronically depressive experience energy depletion on daily occurrences. And if someone hasn’t been so busy before, zero motivation is so lethargic where they can’t even get out of bed, sometimes for hours, or days at times. If there is no urge to do anything other than to sit at home, usually lonely, and fail to do one thing, depression may be the reason.

There’s an undeniable connection between the body and the mind. When you deal with mental health issues, you are also susceptible to experience related physical problems. Many people are inclined to ignore excessive discomfort and aches, some may think it is a part of aging. Still, the fatigue that comes from headaches, back pains, and sore muscles may be symptoms of depressive behavior.

10 – Negative Thinking & Attitude

People with depression can display a characteristic called ‘depressive realism,’ meaning that they can be ‘more accurate’ in their interpretation of events and influence of certain circumstances than people without depression.

Depressed individuals may also have a more negative outlook on life. Research shows that negativity commonly rears its ugly head for people with major depressive disorders.

Those who have a darker, more doomsday outlook on the world tend to feel depressed. Conversely, the same research cited shows that a shift to a positive attitude made a significant impact on breaking through those adverse emotions.

It is natural to feel unhappy sometimes. However, don’t let depression rob you of taking joy from those activities that typically make you happy. Feeling depressed can permeate even the most pleasurable parts of your life.

positive thinking and depression

11 – Separation & Isolation

Are you pushing away those who care about you?

A clear sign to look out for is the separation of oneself and withdrawal from social experiences. It’s not uncommon for all of us to require “me time.” But, if social isolation is a dramatic change or continues for prolonged stretches, it may lead to a more severe underlying mental health condition.

Additionally, excessive alone time may be symptomatic of anxiety disorder, addiction, or other behavioral disorders. A mental health professional can help you find the cause of your turmoil.

Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in the United States.

12 – Loss Of Concentration

People who are living with depression often are unable to concentrate on daily tasks. You find it difficult to focus on anything, even simple things.

Small or simple activities like watching TV, reading a book, or even talking to someone, even though they are all reasonably straightforward, become quite trivial. It sometimes causes them to become lose focus quickly, neglect self-care, or overlook small details that usually would not be any challenge.

depressiveFinal Thoughts on Coping With Depressive Disorder Symptoms

Sadness is normal. But when your emotions control your every waking moment, you might have a larger issue. Or, if your relationships suffer from the feelings, it’s a sign of a deeper concern.

In moderate cases of depression, friends and family may have all the necessary assistance. And, the feelings can subside in a few weeks with self-care at home.

However, if the feelings don’t go away, you should get help. It is essential to have someone who is willing to listen and ask questions about your emotions.

Find help from psychiatrists, licensed psychologists, or master therapists to help overcome these depressive symptoms. These professionals can have you back to feeling better, sooner.

Health

Understanding Neck Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Understanding Neck Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments


Understanding Neck Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

At any one time, 10 percent of the adult population is usually suffering from neck pain.

This condition usually occurs due to several reasons, including injury, degenerative disc disease, neck strain, and a herniated disc. If you’re experiencing the pain, there are ways you can prevent it from wrecking your life.

Simple changes in your lifestyle may be able to avoid the pain before it starts. It’s also important to know the signs that your pain is severe and it’s time to see a doctor or start therapy.

Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about understanding your neck pain.

How to Get Rid of Neck Pain

Apart from ibuprofen, there’s not really a magic pill that will get rid of your pain. The best way to get rid of your neck pain is to figure out what’s causing it and make some changes.

The most common cause of neck pain is bad posture. There are some things you might be doing every day that can be hurting your posture. Here are some simple changes and fixes to improve your posture and decrease your pain.

Fix Your Posture

Bad posture is one of the most significant factors that cause neck pain, and it’s likely caused by hunching over your computer or phone all day. Here are some other factors that can lead to bad posture and eventually neck pain that you might not even be aware of.

If you carry a heavy bag on one side of your body like a messenger bag, this is terrible for your alignment. This sends the alignment of your back out and causes one side of your body to overcompensate.

Being overweight is another cause of neck pain. Again, you are carrying extra weight to a different area of the body which messes up your posture. Carrying too much weight can pull your muscles in different directions which causes pain in areas like the neck.

If you’re always wearing high heels and tight clothes, this can really lead to bad posture, and this changes your center of gravity which screws up your position.

Be aware of how you walk. Often we walk a certain way because of habit. If you’re walking with slumped shoulders and your head down, you’re messing up your body’s alignment and posture which can lead to pain.

If you have past pain injuries, you might be carrying your body in an unnatural way to deal with that pain. This can lead to a habit of bad posture which is hurting your neck.

Watch Out for Text Neck

Text neck is what happens when you lean over your phone to text, leading to bad posture. Prevent this hunching over by bringing your phone’s screen up to your eye level; this will prevent your neck from tipping forward, but also make sure your screen isn’t too high.

Prevent yourself from placing your phone on a table or near your lap. If you’re using a tablet, make sure to prop it up, so it’s eye level, especially if you’re using it over a long period.

Don’t Slouch While Sitting

Be sure that when you’re sitting in a chair that you’re not slouching and your spine is up straight and fully supported. Your chair’s height is important, you should be able to rest your feet on the floor comfortably, and your knees should be level to your hips.

You want to make sure that your monitor is eye level when you sit up straight. If you sit for an extended period, make sure your walk around regularly. If you experience any pain or discomfort, that’s your body telling you it can’t deal, so make an adjustment.

Try The Soldier Sleeping Position

This exercise can help your pain. Just lie down with your head and neck resting on a pillow. Then push your head backward like you’re making a double chin, while you gently press your head back into the pillow.

Do this for 5 seconds for 10 to 15 times. It might feel like your throat is being blocked, but that’s actually completely normal. This exercise might also help you get better sleep.

Try a Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Stretch

To do this stretch, sit in a chair or stand up straight and rotate your head to the right as you look up at the ceiling. When you do this, your chin should point up at a 45-degree angle.

Then place your left palm very lightly on the top of your head above your right ear. Next, ever so gently pull your head towards your left shoulder.

While doing this make sure you keep your chin pointing upward and try to hold this for 20 to 30 seconds. Try to do this exercise daily to stop any tension that built up during the day.

When To See A Doctor For Your Neck Pain

Be aware, there are some factors and symptoms of neck pain, which is your body telling you it’s time to see a doctor. Make sure you do your research to find the best neck pain specialist. Here are the symptoms you should not ignore.

Neck or Back Pain That Keeps You Up At Night

If your pain is keeping you up at night or getting worst when you try to sleep, while this is not life-threatening, it might be time to see a doctor.

It’s best to get this checked out, especially if you also have a fever. Back or neck pain and a fever could be a sign that you have an infection like meningitis.

The longer you wait to remedy an infection, the worse your infection can get.

You Have Had Cancer

If you have had cancer and are experiencing first-time neck or back pain, this could be a sign that something is wrong with your colon, rectum or ovary.

The American Cancer Society says that growing cancer can put pressure on organs, nerves or blood vessels that can lead to neck or back pain. Another issue is you might not even feel this pain until your tumor is large and cancer has already spread.

So if you have a history of cancer and are experiencing neck or back pain, see a professional as soon as you can.

You are Over 50

The more we age, the more likely we are to have neck or back pain. If you are over 50 years old and have back pain and have recently gained weight, see your doctor for a plan and treatment.

You Are Having Bowel or Bladder Problems, Or Your Legs Keep Getting Weaker

If you noticed that you are having a hard time controlling your blatter and your legs have gotten weaker, see a doctor as soon as possible. This could be a sign of cauda equina syndrome, which a serious condition that needs emergency back surgery.

You Have Had a Fall, Accident or Other Trauma

If you’ve been injured in a fall or accident and you have neck pain after, see a doctor immediately. Even if you can walk fine, new spine pain could be related to the impact.

Keep in mind if you live with osteoporosis, and have recently fallen, you have a higher chance of spine injury.

Pain Radiates Down One Leg or Arm

If you notice pain, numbness, weakness or electrical sensations down one leg, this is called sciatica. Sciatica symptoms can be from tight muscles due to pressure on a spinal nerve root called radiculopathy.

If you have sciatica, your doctor will find out by trying to elicit your symptoms by testing your dermatomes. Dermatomes are part of your skin that is served by spinal nerve roots. This test can help point out the precise spinal nerve root or roots that are irritated.

Bending or Flexing Your Low Back Makes Your Symptoms Worse

If bending or flexing makes your symptoms worse, you might be experiencing a disc problem, like bulging, herniated or degenerative disc disease. You should see a doctor as soon as possible to figure out what the next steps are.

Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

If you feel cramping, weakness, pain and or tingling in your legs, especially when you walk, you might have spinal stenosis. These symptoms are classified as neurogenic claudication, which is serious. You should see your doctor immediately to find out what’s wrong.

Your Pain Persists

If your pain has lasted for more than three weeks, then it could be chronic, and you should immediately seek medical attention.

Chronic pain can be caused by an injury and follows it’s own set of rules. But if you catch it sooner, you might be able to find treatments to help manage the pain and get on with your normal life. The sooner your pain is assessed, the sooner you can start feeling better with treatment.

Feel Better Today

Now that you know what’s causing your neck pain, start making changes today. These changes can be in the form of fixing your posture, wearing looser clothing, or doing exercises that can help your pain go away.

If your pain doesn’t go away in three weeks or if you have a history of cancer or have recently been in an accident, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. For more articles on health, check out our blog.