Neck pain is a widespread complaint, and neck muscles can be strained from poor posture — whether it’s hunching over your work desk or leaning over your computer.
Neck pain can rarely be a symptom of a more severe health issue. Seek immediate medical care if your neck pain is accompanied by loss of strength in your arms, numbness or if you have shooting pain down your arm or into your shoulder.
Here are a few signs and symptoms:
Pain that feels worst while holding your head in one position for a more extended period, working at your computer or while driving.
- Muscle spasm and tightness
- Decreased ability to move your head
What could be the cause?
Your neck is very versatile and supports the weight of your head; therefore, it can be prone to injuries and condition that causes pain and restrict motion.
Neck pain causes include:
Muscle Strains: Overuse of your computer or smartphones often triggers muscle strains. Minor things, such as gritting your teeth or reading in bed will strain the neck muscles too.
Worn Joints: Like other joints in your body, your neck joints also tend to wear down with aging.
Nerve Compression: Herniated disks in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
Injuries: Rear-end auto accidents often result in severe injury, which commonly occurs when the head is jerked forward and backward, straining the soft tissues of your neck.
Diseases: Such as meningitis, cancer, or rheumatoid arthritis can also cause neck and back pain.
Most neck pain is commonly associated with poor posture combined with age-related wear and tear. To help prevent the pain, keep your head centered over your spine, and some simple changes in your daily routine can also help.
Consider trying to:
- Use good posture while standing and sitting and ensure that your ears are directly over your shoulders and your shoulders are in a straight line over your hips.
- Adjust your desk, computer, and chair so that the monitor is at eye level.
- Take frequent breaks. If you work long hours at your laptop or travel long distances, get up, move around and stretch your shoulder and neck.
- Avoid tucking the phone between your shoulder and ear while attending a call, Instead, use a headset or speakerphone.
- Quit smoking as this can put you at risk of developing neck pain.
- Avoid carrying heavy handbags over your shoulder as the heavyweight can strain your neck.
- Sleep in a good position, Use a small pillow under your neck. Your head and neck should be well aligned with your body. Try sleeping on your back with thighs elevated on your pillows this will flatten your spinal muscles.
When to consult a specialist?
Seek immediate medical help if severe neck pain results from an injury, such as an auto accident, diving accident or fall.
Consult your Doctor if pain:
- Is Severe
- Spreads down to arms or legs
- Persists for many days without relief
- If the pain is accompanied by headache, numbness, weakness or tingling
Prevention Is Better Than Cure… Get Treated…