About 80% of the population suffers neck pain at one time or another. And for up to 50% of those people, the pain is chronic. Neck pain may be linked to health conditions like arthritis or degenerative disc disease, but not always.
It’s possible that your everyday habits are fueling your neck pain. Your neck is a complex blend of muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves, and your posture, sleeping position, and other habits could be causing stiffness and pain.
If you’ve had ongoing neck pain for several days or weeks, don’t ignore it. Schedule an appointment with Amol Soin, MD and our team at Ohio Pain Clinic. We specialize in diagnosing neck pain and other issues affecting your cervical spine. We’re here to help you find remedies that relieve your discomfort.
Could your lifestyle be contributing to your neck pain? Some of the top lifestyle causes of neck pain are as follows.
Between computers, smartphones, tablets, and TV, most people spend significant amounts of time looking at screens each day. Nicknamed “tech neck,” this poor posture while working at a computer, checking your phone, reading on your tablet, or watching TV, are top causes of neck pain.
When you’re focused on your screen, it’s easy to let your head drift forward and allow your shoulders to slouch. Spending hours in a hunched position puts strain on your cervical spine, and it can contribute to chronic back pain and neck pain.
To fight tech neck, adjust your workspace to keep your neck in a neutral position while you’re working. Focus on keeping your ears above your shoulders and your spine straight. Elevate your screen so it’s at eye level, and take regular breaks to avoid strain.
Living a sedentary lifestyle
Experiencing neck pain can make the thought of working out unappealing, but living a sedentary lifestyle may actually make your neck pain worse. Inactivity contributes to stiffness, but participating in low-impact aerobic exercise can boost blood flow throughout your body - including your neck.
Strive to get 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week for your overall well-being. Talk to Dr. Soin about neck-strengthening exercises to incorporate into your daily routine. Regular stretching and exercise builds up the muscles in your neck to improve function and reduce pain.
Improper sleeping position
How you sleep plays a role in spine health. In general, sleeping on your back or your side encourages a neutral spine position, while sleeping on your stomach can put strain on your spine and your neck.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, consider trying to sleep in a different position to take stress off your cervical spine. Find a firm, supportive mattress and a pillow that allows your head to rest comfortably.
Changing your habits isn’t easy, but it can make a significant difference for your neck pain. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed at first. It might take several tries before you settle into new habits that are better for your spine health.
Dr. Soin and our team can help you implement healthy changes to relieve neck pain. We treat neck pain by addressing the cause behind it and not just masking symptoms with medication.
From recommending a cervical support pillow to finding ways to maintain proper posture while sitting at your desk, we partner with you to make lifestyle modifications. Learn more about ways to enhance your health and relieve your neck pain by booking a consultation with us. Call our office in Centerville, Ohio, at 937-434-2226 or book online now.