Sometimes your neck can be a real pain in the neck. Exercise, reading or working at the computer can all make it cramp up. But don't let these cramp your style. Here are 3 ways to keep your neck from making you a wreck. Prevention Tip #1: Give Your Neck a Good Rest Your sleeping habits and bedding can make a big difference in how your neck feels all day. Try sleeping on your back. This is the best position to help your neck rest because it's aligned with the rest of your spine. For more support, try sleeping on your back with a pillow under each arm. Many people find that this takes a lot of strain off the neck. Another option people find helpful is to sleep with the head at a slight incline. You can add a pillow or even opt for a bed with a head that raises. It may be that you just need a new pillow. Pillows get flattened after a while and lose the ability to support your head. Many doctors suggest an orthopedic pillow that has extra support under the neck and a slight depression under the head. Prevention Tip #2: Watch Your Posture Improving your posture can be very helpful in alleviating neck pain. Keep your shoulders back and chest out, like Mom used to tell you. If your shoulders bend forward, so will your neck, causing it to cramp after a while. A good way to work on your posture is to increase your shoulder strength. Lift some weights to build up shoulder muscles, especially the rhomboid muscles between the shoulder blades, which are very important in supporting the neck. Another way to improve your posture and help your neck is to lose weight. As people put on weight, the increased mass tends to pull the shoulders forward, triggering more neck pain. Exercise and losing weight will take a lot of strain off both your shoulders and neck and make all your activities more comfortable. Prevention Tip #3: Adjust That Culprit, The Computer Everyone has had the experience of getting up from the computer and saying, Ouch, my neck! A few changes in your work station can prevent that. Make sure the monitor is neither too high nor too low. Experts suggest setting it slightly below eye level or at about 15 degrees. Looking up at the screen is much more tiring than looking down and causes more neck strain. You can tip the screen or, if the desk is too low, you can set it on something to raise it a little. It's also important to take breaks from the computer screen to give your neck a little time to move around. A trick for taking stress from your neck while working is to check the position of your chin. If it's pointing up or down while reading the screen, you're probably straining your neck. Your chin should be closer to a neutral straight line. You can adjust the monitor to get your neck and head into a more aligned, comfortable position. Many people wear bifocals or trifocals to work in, and looking through bottom lenses for a long time can cause neck pain. It's recommended that single-vision glasses are best for reading and computer work. Your neck does a lot of work holding up your head all day. Show it some love and help it out by getting good rest, sitting up straight and adjusting that computer screen. That way you can avoid cramps in your neck of the woods.