Do you often complain of neck pain? If the answer is ‘Yes’, then most likely your poor posture is the main cause. Either your cell phone or sedentary work habits add more strain to your neck muscles.
Our body is designed to stand upright, but in the modern and technologically advanced society we live in, most of us spend much of our day stooping over the desk or a cell phone. This peculiar bending adds strain to our spine and we usually notice it when first symptoms appear. When we keep our posture straight the weight is exerted from the head to the spine. However, the more we bend our heads, the greater the pressure exerted on our neck muscles.
6 common symptoms of neck pain
The following are the most frequent symptoms people experience when they suffer with neck pain.
- Muscle soreness and spasms
- Numbness in hands and head area
- Weakness spreading down the arms and legs
- Decreased ability to move our head
7 possible causes of neck pain include:
There may be a lot of causes that result in neck pain. Some go unnoticed while others tend to be rather serious.
Overuse of muscles. Pain is caused when we keep our head still for long periods, such as when driving or working at a computer, hunching over the cell phone often cause neck muscle strains.
Poor posture habits, like reading in bed or slouching watching TV, can also strain neck muscles.
Osteoarthritis due to old age. Joints in our body tend to wear down as we age, so do our neck joints. As osteoarthritis deteriorates the cartilage (cushions) between our bones (vertebrae) it affects our joint motion, causing some pain.
Intervertebral disc herniation. Herniated disks in the vertebrae of your neck press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
Injuries. A fall or car collision often result in whiplash injury that is the head is jerked backward and forward, straining the soft tissues of the neck, which initiate or aggravate the pain.
Headaches mostly due to tension
Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or even cancer can cause neck pain.
6 prevention tips for neck pain
Most neck pain is the result of poor posture combined with age. To help prevent neck pain, keep your head centered and back straight over your spine. Some changes in your daily routine will definitely help. Try the following:
- Good posture: When standing and sitting, keep your back and shoulders straight over your hips.
- Take short breaks: When you drive long distances or work long hours at your computer, stop, get up, move around and stretch your neck and shoulders.
- Use ergonomic office desk and chair: Have the screen at eye level. Keep knees lower than hips and use your chair’s armrests.
- Proper use of phone: Do not hold the phone between your ears and shoulder while occupied with other tasks. Use Bluetooth, earphones or the speaker instead.
- Weights: Do not carry heavy items.
- Sleep position: Keep your head and neck aligned with your body. Use a small pillow under your neck. A pillow under your knees helps keep your spinal muscles flat. A good mattress is a must.
When to see a doctor: Most neck pain improves gradually with home treatment and pain relief medicine. Otherwise see your doctor. See your doctor immediately if your neck pain is a result of an injury, driving accident or a fall, or it is accompanied by headaches, numbness, weakness or tingling, or dizziness.
Visit or call Eversharp Physical Therapy Center for an appointment and one of our experienced staff will help you recover the soonest possible.