One of the most common reasons why people present to LiveWell Family Chiropractic is for neck pain. Unsure of why or how your neck is sore all of the time is also common. At times there is not just one quick solution or remedy we can provide but there are plenty of things in which we can control to help alleviate, prevent and keep on top of to make sure our cervical spine or neck maintains its shape and form.
With the current shift in technological advancements and increased time spent with handheld devices (we know 80% of you are more than likely reading this on your phone or tablet) and increased workplace stresses play a major part in why we are constantly experiencing neck pain!
Research suggests that the prevalence of handheld devices such as mobile phones and tablets is bad for our posture. Why? When using these particular devices our heads are lowered, shoulders rounded and flexed. Both these movements go against the normal curvature of the spine and increase the stress on your cervical spine, muscles of the neck and shoulders. Now we could all limit this in a few ways.
- Reduce time on handheld devices.
- Position handheld devices at eye level when using.
- Exercises and stretches after long periods of screen time to make sure you are stimulating the muscles of the back of the neck and shoulder.
Device usage is not the only culprit when it comes to neck pain. Poor posture when walking and sitting for prolonged periods of time will also cause tension and stress in the shoulders and neck muscles. We have seen recently a big shift to having stand up desks within the workplace to improve postural strain on the body.
Other factors such as frequently carrying heavy backpacks. Unfortunately, with the demands of primary and secondary schooling today students are required to carry more and more within their backpacks. It has been shown that children whom carry up to 20% of their bodyweight in their backpacks increase their likelihood of developing neck and lower back pain.
Your sleeping posture has also shown to have detrimental effects on your neck and cervical spine. Whilst mainly applying to those who sleep on their stomach having a bed and/pillow which is not supportive to the curves of your spine and body will also increase the level of tension, stress and strain on the body.
Making sure your neck is moving adequately, aligned and strong reduces the chance of neck-related pain. Some preventative measures include:
- Stretches for the Neck – don’t wait for pain to arise before you start implementing a stretching regime. Simple movements such as tucking your chin to your chest, turning your head both left and right and then bending down to touch your collar bones and moving your head up to look at the ceiling without moving your eyes are all healthy stable movements.
- Identifying triggers – we mentioned a couple previously. Making sure your workstation is adequately positioned and ergonomically friendly. Packing your backpack efficiently and correcting the arm straps to make sure it is being worn appropriately.
- Stretch your back– Neck pain can have a variety of causes and can often be linked to issues in the upper back. When not moving effectively through the upper back the neck can be then asked to move more to compensate these deficiencies. This can cause excessive stress and strain to the neck particularly the muscles of the neck.
- Assess your posture – Be sure to fix your posture when you notice your shoulders and head starting to droop. Having someone take a photo of you from side on you can quickly see if your shoulders are rounded or your head is not positioned over the base of your feet.
- Book in to see your Chiropractor – This one is particularly important if you are already experiencing neck pain. A Chiropractic adjustment is one of the best ways to alleviate neck pain as it helps to restore adequate movement and function through the joints to reduce the pressure on surrounding tissues and nerves.
Experiencing neck pain and your self-help strategies not giving you satisfaction.
Book in for your next Chiropractic adjustment today!