Two Issues That Could Be Causing Your Neck Pain
Everyone has experienced neck pain at one time or another. If your neck pain seems to be occurring on a chronic basis, however, that typically means there's an underlying problem that needs to be addressed to permanently alleviate your discomfort. Here are two things that could be causing your neck pain and what you can do to alleviate the problem.
According to one study, Americans spent an average of 7.4 hours per day looking at screens (e.g. computers, laptops, smartphones). The majority of that time is spent sitting down at a desk or table or lying on a bed. Since you probably weren't taught the proper way to sit, there's a good chance your chronic neck pain is the side effect of poor posture.
The bones in your neck are 100 percent responsible for supporting your head and proving the range of motion need to survey your surroundings. Poor posture (shoulders slumped, head pushed forward) pushes your neck and back out of alignment and puts undue strain on the bones. After weeks, months, or years of sitting like this, it's common for people to develop degenerative disc disease as well as muscle strain as the neck and upper back muscles struggle to compensate for the pull of gravity.
One way to battle this issue is to train yourself to sit properly. You should be sitting straight, shoulders square, with your feet flat on the floor. If necessary, make adjustments in your work area (e.g. raise the monitor, change your chair height) to support better posture. It will take some concerted effort at first to maintain your new way of sitting, but the strain on your neck should decrease which may lead to an improvement in your symptoms.
Another common issue that leads to neck pain is the development of osteoarthritis. This condition is characterized by the deterioration of cartilage in the joints, causing the body to compensate by forming bone spurs that affect movement in the neck.
Osteoarthritis is primarily an age-related condition, appearing in middle-aged and elderly people. However, it can also occur in people who have bone development issues, such as osteoporosis. You can tell this is the source of your neck pain if you also experience
- Neck stiffness
- Neck pain induced headaches
- Shoulder or arm pain
- Inability to completely turn the head
- Grinding sensation when turning the neck
If left untreated, osteoarthritis can lead to problems with the spinal cord that may produce other issues in the body, such as lack of coordination, muscle spasms, and loss of bowel or bladder control.
Treatment for osteoarthritis typically involves the use of medication. However, regular chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, and the use of a cervical collar can also prove beneficial.
For more information about these and other conditions that could be causing your neck pain or to discuss chiropractic treatment options that may help, contact a chiropractor like Dr. Shirali Kianian.