How To Prevent Neck Pain
Neck pain can be caused by a number of things but an increasingly common cause is people spending a lot of time staring down whether that’s at a computer screen at work, driving, reading, reading, or looking at their smartphones. There are other things that can trigger neck pain too, and we cover these and provide some experts.
Neck pain is a pain in or around the spine beneath your head, known as the cervical spine. Neck pain is a common symptom of many different injuries and medical conditions.
You might have axial neck pain (felt mostly in the neck) or radicular neck pain (pain shoots into other areas such as the shoulders or arms). It can be acute (lasting from days to up to 6 weeks) or chronic (lasting longer than 3 months to years).
Neck pain can interfere with daily activities and reduce your quality of life if left untreated.
Who is affected by neck pain?
Neck pain is very common. It occurs in about one out of three people at least once a year. It is more common in women than in men, and your chance of developing it increases with age.
What does neck pain feel like?
Some people describe the pain as:
- A persistent ache.
- A stabbing or burning pain.
- Increased sensitivity to mild pressure applied to the neck.
- Neck pain plus headache and numbness or tingling in one or both arms.
- Increased tension/tightening in the muscles in the neck.
What are the possible causes of neck pain?
Many different medical issues and injuries can cause neck pain. Conditions that may cause neck pain include:
Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis (the wearing down of joint cartilage) and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces in the spine) can lead to neck pain as you age. Over time, stress and motion can lead to spinal disc degeneration, causing a herniated disc or pinched nerve.
Trauma from the sudden forced movement of the neck or head and rebound in the opposite direction (whiplash) can cause pain and soreness. The muscles, ligaments, discs, vertebral joints, and nerve roots in the spinal cord in the neck can be affected by trauma injuries.3
Tightening your neck muscles due to tension commonly causes neck pain and stiffness. Tension and tightness in your neck and shoulders are common symptoms of stress and anxiety. It’s part of your body’s way of gearing up to survive a perceived physical threat. In other words, it’s part of the “fight or flight” stress response. Fortunately, muscle tension in your neck and shoulders responds well to several different techniques, including targeted stretching, yoga, and other relaxation methods.
However, if the pain in your neck or shoulders is severe, or doesn’t improve with stretches or other self-care techniques, make sure to follow up with your doctor.
Overusing your neck muscles during repetitive actions or strenuous activities can lead to stiffness and pain. A neck sprain is a stretched ligament or muscle in the neck and it may be caused by a sudden impact with an object. An impact may force the neck to quickly extend beyond its normal range, and then snap back forcefully.
Conditions that affect spinal balance:
Poor posture (sitting for long periods of time; poor computer/keyboard/chair positioning), being overweight, and weak abdominal muscles can all affect spine posture and contribute to neck pain.
In rare cases, masses including tumors, cysts, and bone spurs can cause neck pain. Also, If their growth spurt is uncomfortable, a child may slouch or lean forward when in a seated position, and over time this can put excess stress on their cervical or lumbar spine.
Are you still frustrated about that life-changing pain?
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