Do you have neck pain, but can’t figure out why? This could be the answer.
For people who have had a fall, sporting injury, or car accident, the reason for their neck pain can be easily understood. In these cases, your chiropractor should be able to fix the neck pain without a problem. But what about those of us who have neck pain with no history of accident or injury?
Sometimes the explanation is not so simple.
Once the more serious causes and conditions have been eliminated, dealing with an annoying “pain in the neck” can be a bit troublesome. Without any known cause (or at least one that you are aware of), accurately diagnosing and effectively treating the problem can be quite frustrating. When looking to remedy this issue, it is essential to look for possible “self-inflicted” causes of neck pain.
Here are 5 of the more common mistakes I have found my “neck pain” patients guilty of doing (and how to fix them):
5 ways to Fix Neck Pain
1. The computer monitor is too low.
How to fix the problem: While sitting with good posture, raise the monitor so the top of the screen lines up with your forehead. If your monitor is too low it will cause your head to be in a forward “looking down” posture. Doing this for several hours can result in neck pain, neck and upper back stiffness, and headaches. In my article, Instantly Relieve Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain and Back Pain with these 4 Work-Space Changes, I cover everything you need to do to fix this problem.
2. Sleeping on your stomach
How to fix the problem: Sleep on your side or back. In order to sleep on your stomach you have to turn your head. Although your neck is built to rotate to the left and right, it is not meant to stay in that position for hours at a time. If you choose to sleep on your side use a pillow the thickness of your shoulder. If you sleep on your back use a thin pillow. If you need help finding the right pillow, read Waking up with neck pain? It might be your pillow.
3. Cradling the phone with your shoulder.
How to fix the problem: Use a headset or ear piece. Cradling the phone between your head and shoulder can pinch the sensitive nerves in your neck resulting in neck pain and/or pain in the shoulder, arm, or hand. Numbness and tingling can also be associated with the pinching of these nerves.
4. Carrying your pocket-book or brief case only on one side.
How to fix the problem: Regularly alternate the side you carry your brief case or pocket-book. Carrying your pocket-book or brief case consistently on one side can pull on the muscles and shift the bones in your neck (called vertebrae) out of alignment causing neck pain or upper back pain. In addition, using the muscles more on one side of your body will ultimately cause asymmetries in your posture. This can also lead to persistent neck pain and arthritic conditions in your spine. A backpack is a great alternative. If you plan to do this (or are already using a backpack), please check out my article How Much Should a Backpack Weigh?
5. Watching TV in bed.
How to fix the problem: Move the TV out of the bedroom. It is not possible to maintain good posture while watching TV in bed. No, not even if you are sitting up. This can definitely lead to pain and tight muscles in the neck and back.
One of the best ways to keep your neck healthy and feeling great is to do the Range of Motion Exercise everyday. I explain how to do this exercise in my article, The Best Exercise for a Stiff Neck.
We also have over 14 FREE exercise programs to support a healthy neck and back on the EXERCISE PAGE of our website.
Persistent or recurring neck pain is a condition you should always have evaluated by your chiropractor.
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Wishing you good health,
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