Neck pain is a common problem that affects most people at some point during their lives. According to the CDC, 15% of American adults suffer from neck pain for at least one full day each year. While neck pain can affect anyone, it’s more common in women.
Reports of neck pain have become more common as many people lead a sedentary lifestyle and spend hours sitting in front of a computer. Sadly, neck pain can be a debilitating condition that disrupts daily activities and prevents people from enjoying their lives.
The neck is composed of multiple vertebrae, nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments. When an injury, event or underlying condition affects one or more of these neck components, it can lead to neck pain, strain or tension.
There are two broad categories of neck pain: acute or chronic. Acute neck pain comes on suddenly and lasts a short amount of time. Chronic neck pain is persistent and lasts many weeks or months. Different factors cause each type of neck pain.
Common causes of neck pain include:
In more serious cases, neck pain is caused by an underlying degenerative condition like spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease. These conditions are the result of wear and tear due to aging.
One of the most common contributors to neck pain is the weakening or tightening of neck muscles. This happens when the neck is out of alignment with the upper back. Tightness in the neck is common in office workers who are constantly straining their heads forward and down to look at their computer screens.
This throws the neck out of alignment and causes the shoulders and upper back to overcorrect for poor posture. The weaker the neck muscles become, the more it strains and hurts the neck and upper back.
Neck pain is usually felt at the intersection between the shoulders and upper back and up to base of the skull. In this affected area, you may feel neck pain symptoms like:
Self-care routines can be excellent complementary solutions for relieving your neck pain. By installing regular wellness practices, you can stretch out muscles, reduce neck pain and prevent ongoing issues. Additionally, wellness regimes improve overall psychological well-being, which can help you better manage pain and discomfort.
Here are some self-care and wellness solutions for managing chronic neck pain:
Ergonomic Work Solutions: One of the best ways to correct and prevent neck pain is to adjust your posture while you work. You can do this by regularly switching between sitting and standing positions. You can also correct improper neck alignment by elevating your monitor in-line with your vision. This prevents the neck from straining the head forward to look down at your computer screen.
Yoga: Yoga is a practice for strengthening and stretching out tight neck muscles. One study showed that a long-term yoga practice was effective in improving chronic neck pain among participants. Yoga also boosts emotional well-being, which can help manage the psychological effects of chronic neck pain.
Massage Therapy: Massage therapy is a holistic treatment that can loosen up tense neck muscles and alleviate pain. Specifically, deep tissue massage targets tight muscle knots in the neck that can be an underlying contributor to chronic neck pain.
Relax the Back is an expert source for ergonomic and wellness solutions to treat your back pain and improve your quality of life. Here are some ergonomic and wellness products that directly address common causes of neck pain:
Ergonomic Pillows: Improve your sleep quality with pillows designed for your preferred sleeping position. Ergonomic pillows correct harmful sleep positions and stop subsequent neck pain.
Other benefits of ergonomic sleep pillows include:
- Relieving pressure from the neck
- Allowing the shoulders and back to fully relax during sleep
- Supporting proper neck alignment
- Adjustable to either side or back sleepers
- Available in different sizes and materials
Chronic neck pain can cause severe physical and psychological suffering. But with a combination of wellness practices, self-care routines and neck pain relief products, you can address your neck alignment issues and improve your overall well-being.
uhs.umich.edu ( https://www.uhs.umich.edu/computerergonomics )
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23387504 )
emedicine medscape ( http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/305937-overview#a6 )