Hi, this is Yohei Takada at FuncPhysio New York We have covered rule #1-6 of How to Avoid Neck Pain/Stiffness. Today I will cover #7-9 or How to Avoid Neck Pain/Stiffness When you sleep on your stomach, you simply put a lot of stress on your neck You neck has to turn right or left at the end range of available motion If you stay in that position for long period of time, the joints and tissues get stressed. Which create stiffness of the joint, muscles, and ligaments. For this reason I recommend to sleep on your back or on your side. Often, a stomach sleeper develops neck pain and back pain If you need a carry things, I recommend to use a backpack The body get uneven stress if you carry a shoulder bag or holding a hand bag. Your neck and shoulder will be under a constant pressure and the muscles has to work constantly, creating stiffness/tightness I am a strong believer of importance of arm swing during walking. which is very important of kinematics in the human movement That is why I recommend a bag that you can use your arms freely. A backpack and cross-shoulder bag could be a good option. Don’t walk like a zombi. Swing arms when you walk!! I see many clients in NY. One thing in common who have a back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain is breathing problem If you cannot respirate properly, you will stress your neck/shoulder as well as your back It sounds like silly asking “breathing” because everyone breathes, right? What is an appropriate breathing? It is to use the diaphragm and intercostal muscles to expand the rib cage without lifting shoulder and extending your back You know we breathe>20,000 times per day. Imagine if you use your neck and shoulder muscles everything you make a breath. No wander your neck and shoulder pain/stiffness does not go away. You may feel better with massage, but Stiffness comes back right away. So, what is a good breathing pattern? Well, It’s not easy because we do not use the diaphragm since childhood nowadays. The diaphragm have gotten weak, then you started to compensate by using neck/shoulder muscles and/or your back muscles. You can make an airflow to your lung by compensation, but it creates tremendous stress on your body. So first thing, you have to learn to use the diaphragm for your respiration. Can you breathe without changing your posture and can you expand your rib cage? if you can do, that’s good. Check the followings; When you breathe, 1 do you lift us your shoulder ? 2, do you lift up your chest, 3, do you extend (arch) your back? If you have one or more checks, you may have or develop neck pain/stiffness because of breathing pattern.