Some of you may know that I’ve had a trapped nerve in my neck since 2019 and the process of being diagnosed and treated took some time. I had to have an MRI to diagnose it and then it took some time to find the right pain medication to keep the pain at bay. In the meantime, Husband was an absolute rock and helped me make changes which helped with my healing process, and today I’m sharing some of the steps we took to reduce my pain and discomfort.
Obviously, one of the most important things to help my recovery was seeing a physio who taught me lots of stretches and exercises that I can use to reduce the inflammation and decompress the nerve and I had weekly appointments for a few months. My friend was lucky enough to find that a physio comes to you in London, but living in the countryside meant I had to go to them!
Change Your Pillows
When the pain was at it’s most acute, I could barely lay down at all and I couldn’t lay flat without a LOT of pain (which made the MRI into a form of torture…) but once I found a pillow that worked for me, it made a lot of difference. My ideal pillow was a thick memory foam one, but that’s going to be different for every person, so trial and error is probably what you need.
Assess Your Workstation
Something that was greatly contributing to my pain was the fact that I do a lot of my work on a laptop, which means that I’m looking downwards at the screen. It may not seem like much, but doing this for several hours a day is more than enough to exacerbate a trapped nerve. I switched to a desk where the screen was at eye level and this took a lot of pressure off of my neck.
Reduce Mobile Usage
I don’t know about you, but most evenings are spent in front of the telly, with my mobile phone in one hand and the remote in the other. Husband once took a photo of my sitting position when I’m looking at my phone and the angle of my neck was clearly something that contributed to my pain. These days, if I’m using my phone of an evening, I try to hold it at face height or use my iPad instead.
Look at Your Furniture
Are you one of those households where everyone has their own seat in the living room? We are and the way I was slouching against the arm of the sofa meant that my arm was lifted at an awkward angle and putting pressure on my neck. Take a look at your furniture and see if there’s a way you can sit which is more neutral and supportive to your neck and back.