Neck pain be so mild that it is merely annoying and distracting. It can also be so severe that it is unbearable and debilitating. In most cases neck pain is minor, and likely the cause was something you did but you weren’t aware at the time. For example: If you keep you head in awkward position for too long,the joints in your neck can “lock” and the neck muscles can become painfully fatigued.
Poor posture while watching TV, using a computer, reading a book or talking on the phone with the receiver held against your shoulder and under your chin can all cause neck pain.
Neck pain that persists for many day’s or keeps coming back may be a sign that something is wrong. Disease, or an injury such as whiplash. A congenital malformation or age related changes may be responsible for more significant pain.
Common symptoms, and possible causes
Almost everyone experiences some sort of neck pain or stiffness at one time or another during their lifetime. You walk upright so your head is balanced on top of your spine like a golf ball on a tee.
The head weighs on average between 10 and 15 pounds. If the muscles that support your head and neck are not kept flexible and strong, prolonged postures can put too much stress on the neck joints. This can lead to muscle strains, and sprains in the ligaments that support the head and neck.
As we age our joints wear out (Osteoarthritis) and the discs in the spine dry up and flatten. You may experience pain that radiates into the top of the shoulders or in between your shoulder blades.
Occasionally a pinched nerve occurs( radiculopothy) which can cause tingling, pain and numbness that radiates into the arm, forearm hand and fingers
Solutions for better posture and less neck pain
Many people who struggle with neck pain are able to find relief through physiotherapy. However physiotherapy may also be the answer for those who want to stop neck pain before it develops into a serious diagnosis.
In addition to helping people rehabilitate, physiotherapists also help people prehabilitate. Prehabilitaion may allow you to PREVENT injuries from occurring by growing your awareness of habits and tendencies that cause them in the first place.
One of the areas physiotherapists check when conducting prehabilitation screenings is posture.
Beyond growing awareness of poor habits, physiotherapists may equip you with tools you need to conduct yourself in a healthier manner. If neck pain is your problem a physiotherapist may offer you techniques for sitting properly.
Tips for good seated posture.
- For those that work at computers for prolonged periods of time, check your set up.
- The monitor should be straight ahead, and keyboard in a position that allows the arms to be relaxed
- Stand up and stretch or change positions regularly-at least once an hour
Your physiotherapist can trouble shoot your specific issue and tailor a program individualized to you because not all posture related problems are the same.
The next time you have a pain in your neck, reThink your posture… it could be the culprit!