25 Jun Common Causes of Neck Pain
There are many things that can cause neck pain. Unfortunately, it is fairly common and a large number of people suffer from this discomfort. In most cases, the pain typically lasts one to six weeks but can last longer.
Symptoms of Neck Pain
Common signs and symptoms include:
- Muscle spasms, tension, or tightness
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Inability to move or turn head (lessened range of motion)
- Pain felt when the head is kept in one position for long periods of time
Causes of Neck Pain
Common causes of neck pain can be attributed to:
- Muscle Strain: The overuse and misuse of the neck and surrounding muscles can cause neck pain. Things like sitting in a car or at a desk with poor posture or sleeping with your neck turned too far to one side can cause neck pain.
- Compressed Nerves: A herniated disc or a bone spur in your neck can be extremely painful.
- Mature Joints: As a person gets older, their joints begin to wear down. The cartilage between your vertebrae will eventually deteriorate which will cause pain.
- Injuries: Whiplash is a common neck injury that causes lots of pain. To learn more about whiplash, click here.
Preventing Neck Pain
There are a few small changes you can make in your day-to-day routine that can make a big difference.
- Try to remember to sit up straight and use good posture. Be sure to keep your shoulders and hips in a vertical line and your ears are in line with your shoulders. Avoid crossing your legs and ankles. To learn more about improving your posture, click here.
- Do not hold your phone with your ear and shoulder. Instead, use your hand, the speaker function, or a hands-free headset or ear piece.
- Take breaks throughout your day. Whether you drive a vehicle for work or are sitting at a desk all day, it’s important to stand up, walk around, and stretch your shoulders and neck. To learn more about the importance of stretching, click here.
- Sleep in a proper position. Your head and neck should be aligned with your body, not tilted to one side or another. Try to sleep on your back and support your head and neck with a pillow. By elevating your thighs and knees with a pillow, you will flatten your spinal muscles and will likely stay on your back throughout the night.
- Make adjustments to your desks at home and work. Adjust your chair settings and desk height to ensure your computer monitor is eye level. Rest your arms on the armrests to avoid shoulder and neck tension.
- Try to avoid carrying things with shoulder straps. The heavy weight of the bag, briefcase or purse can strain your neck and cause tension.
Treating Neck Pain
Thankfully, treating neck pain is usually quite simple. While some pain goes away on its own, other times it is only treatable by a medical professional. It is important seek medical attention if your neck pain is severe, the pain spreads, is accompanied by numb or tingling sensation or if you’ve recently been in some sort of accident like a car crash. If you are experiencing neck pain, call Spinal Rehab of North County to schedule an appointment today.