Do you think giraffes have neck pain? Do they complain to their friends about waking up with a sore neck? Do they stretch their necks to one side to relieve muscle tightness? Do they do the 3 worst things that you can do for your neck? They have such long necks; don’t you think neck pain would come as a package deal? Someone’s gotta think about these things. Humans have such small necks compared to giraffes, and we suffer from neck pain daily. We complain to our friends and families about our sleeping positions. We stretch our necks to one side to relieve tight muscles. We also do the 3 worst things we can do for our necks. So what are the 3 worst things we can do for our necks? And how do we stop? And do giraffes have the same problems? Let’s find out.
Tilting your head downward is possibly the worst thing you can do for your neck,1 and we look down all the time, putting an enormous amount of pressure on our necks. We look down while using our phones (text neck), while working at our computer, while playing video games, and while driving. And you know something? Giraffes never look down at their electronics. In fact, their necks are so long they can eat the tops of the trees for their dinner, never needing to look down. One point for giraffes. Zero points for humans. Instead of looking down so much, try holding your cell phone in front of your face, setting up an ergonomic workplace, taking a 10-minute break from video games every hour. These things will even out the score so that we can be more like giraffes.
You know smoking is bad for a lot of reasons, but did you know that it can cause neck pain?2 Smoking can lead to degenerative disc disease that develops in your neck (the cervical spine). Nicotine makes the blood vessels around the spinal disc constrict, preventing the discs from receiving nutrients and diminishing the development of new disc cells. Quitting isn’t easy, but let giraffes be your inspiration. Giraffes don’t smoke. It looks like the score is 2 to 0. Let’s catch up.
Sleeping on your stomach.
When giraffes3 are babies, they sleep on their stomachs and turn their necks all the way around so their heads rest on their bums. Look it up; it’s cute. But as they grow older, they grow wiser. Adult giraffes sleep standing up, and they only get about 30 minutes of sleep a night. They’ll sleep for just a few minutes at a time, keeping their necks straight and pain-free so that when an animal attacks they’re ready to run away. And giraffes aren’t slow. They run as fast as 35 miles per hour. 3–0 giraffes. But enough about giraffes. Why shouldn’t you sleep on your stomach? When you sleep on your stomach, you add strain to your neck as your head is turned to one side all night. Sleeping on your back or side is better for your neck. Just make sure you have the right amount of pillows. Too many pillows can put the same strain on your neck as turning it to the side. Make sure your neck stays in line with your spine as you sleep to avoid neck pain.
Nature always knows how to escape the pain. Let’s be more like giraffes.