5 Causes of Neck Pain
Other than the lower back pain, neck pain is one of the top complaints we have in the office. Neck pain is one of those things many people choose to live with, without taking action to help it. We want to give you a few things to check in your own life, that may be contributing to your neck pain, and small steps to help improve them. So what are some things that can impact the neck:
- Poor Posture– siting hunched over a desk all day? Notice that your head keeps going further and further forward to read the screen? Every inch you go forward puts a lot of extra pressure on the neck. The same goes for looking down at a smart device or book for a prolonged period of time. Try to keep the neck in a neutral position when reading, typing, texting, etc. That means you have to bring the book or device up, while keeping the neck in a relaxed position.
- Sleeping Position– are you a stomach sleeper? Hate to break it to you, but that is the worst sleeping position for the neck. Though sleeping on your back or side with the neck propped up higher than the rest of the spine with lots of pillows can be just as destructive. Ideally you want the neck to be even with the rest of the spine- not too far up, and not too far down. Try to get a partner or friend to look at your position while you are laying and help you figure out how you can adjust to be more straight.
- Stress– tension headaches arise because of….tension. Tension can be formed from repetitive strain type injuries but also from stress. Manage your stress levels to help ease your neck pain. Things like meditation, yoga, exercise are some examples of things you can try. Find what works for you and keep at it.
- Shoulder Tightness– many of the muscles in the neck also attach to the tops of the shoulders. Hold your stress or tightness in the tops of the shoulders? Its probably affecting your neck as well. Keep the shoulders loosened up to help with the neck tightness. Try some gentle stretching or foam rolling around the shoulder area and see how it affects your neck.
- Trauma– car accidents, falls, and hits, can all cause damage to the neck. One of the common results we see in the neck from trauma, is a whiplash injury. Which is an injury in which the head gets whipped in one direction and then abruptly into another direction. Such as the case with car accidents and many sporting injuries. Disc herniations and other more serious injuries can also occur from trauma. With these types of injuries, it’s best to seek professional consultation before trying to do anything on your own.
If you are experiencing neck pain, go through the list above and see if you can figure out what may be causing the problem. You can try out things at home, such as avoiding the inciting posture or stress. If the problem persists, you may need a professional opinion. Contact us today to see if we can help with your neck pain!
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic
Chiropractic | Sports Injuries | Active Release Techniques (ART®)