Common Reasons for Neck Pain and How to Fix it
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
Nearly 45% of today’s workers have some degree of neck pain, with 12% of women and 9% of men experiencing it consistently each day. Neck pain can range from mild to severe, and while some can ignore the discomfort, others are left unable to perform regular daily functions with ease. It can be difficult to pinpoint what causes neck pain when it starts, especially when it goes away in a matter of days or weeks. But if it returns with persistence or is more debilitating, it’s necessary to get the right diagnosis and course of treatment quickly.
Here are a few common reasons for neck pain, and ways to solve the problem.
An Old Injury
Because neck pain is fickle, it isn’t surprising that it comes and goes over time. An old injury, from a fall, improper exercise, a car accident, or a sports injury, could be the culprit of current neck pain, even if the initial issue took place months or years ago. For some, nerves in the neck and shoulder are impacted by an injury, causing pain and stiffness that comes back over time.
Sleeping in the Wrong Position
Many people wake up with a stiff neck each morning but shrug it off as the day move forward. But that stiffness can be an indicator of an underlying issue taking place throughout the night. It is common to sleep in an awkward or atypical position that ultimately overextends the neck, leading to pain that doesn’t go away.
Neck pain is also caused by poor posture. When your head is continually tilted down or your shoulders and back rounded while standing or sitting, pressure is put on the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Poor posture has become a more widely discussed topic with the entrance of “text neck” – when significant time is spent looking down at the phone or computer. However, lousy posture also happens on the commute, at work, or at home. When the neck must work harder to support your head in any circumstance, you’ll experience pain in some form down the road.
This one may seem out of place, but neck and back strength comes from the discs between the bones in your spine. When these are not adequately hydrated, they can’t perform efficiently. This could lead to neck pain in a hurry. However, because most people don’t connect hydration with a healthy spine, this issue could go unattended for quite some time.
Ways to Fix the Problem
The best step you can take in easing neck pain, no matter how mild it may seem, is getting to the root of the problem. While the common causes of neck pain seem apparent, you may also have a more severe nerve or muscle issue that is compounding the problem. If neck pain persists for more than a few weeks, it is worth getting it checked out.
Chiropractic care can be beneficial in treating neck pain, as the hands-on approach takes into consideration the work you’ve already done, if any, to correct your neck pain. A course of treatment, which may include a neck adjustment, mobilization exercises, or massage, can be tailored to the cause of your neck pain, and over time, you may experience a reduction in soreness and stiffness along with an improved range of motion.
When neck pain is a persistent issue, think about what you can do to remedy the discomfort. Maybe it is trying a new pillow or attempting to sleep on your back. Try bringing your computer screen up to eye level, or use a headset if you’re on the phone frequently. Make an effort to increase your water intake throughout the day, and do simple exercises to stretch out the neck muscles during breaks. These small shifts can have a significant impact on your neck, along with the right diagnosis and treatment when necessary.