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5 important facts about posture.

1. If you lie down on the couch and watch TV or work on your laptop while sitting on the bed, you are taking up the wrong posture, which could lead to a stiff neck. An increasing number of younger people are visiting clinics with stiff necks due to using gadgets the wrong way, says a doctor. If you want to watch TV while in bed, sit up straight, he advises. When sleeping, use a thin pillow for your head and not a plump one, which will strain your neck. By the way, stress does not cause a stiff neck.

2. The symptom of a stiff neck is pain when turning the neck to one side. The pain could be quite intense and may sometimes radiate between the shoulder blades and reach the shoulders. The pain usually recedes within two to three days as the soft tissues in the muscles and ligaments heal.

3. If there is acute neck pain when you wake up, it could be a muscle spasm. Apply a hot pack or a hot towel around the neck to give relief. You should take an anti-inflammatory pill right away to ease the pain. This acute pain could be due to muscle strain possibly caused due to sleeping in the wrong position or carrying a heavy object.

4. See a doctor if there is also a numbness creeping up the arms. However, there will not be a need for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to take pictures of your insides.

5. If the pain is frequent, you should be more disciplined in the way you sit at work. Try and do stretching exercises for the back and neck. The right posture usually helps correct things. If the pain persists, it could be due to spondylitis, an age-related bone disease that occurs because of wear and tear.

Information: Dr Abhay Dandawate, specialist orthopaedic surgeon with JTS Medical Centre, Dubai

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 24, 2013
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