Did you know that people who have chronic neck pain are three times more likely to sustain a serious injury? Whether that is because of reduced mobility, distraction or awareness the facts are that a pain in the neck is no laughing matter and it can become a severely debilitating condition for some people. Let’s start by taking a look at the possible culprits for your neck pain.
Causes of Neck Discomfort
Investigation by a health professional, Doctor or Chiropractor will reveal the source of the neck pain and whether it is situational or physiological. Depending on the diagnosis, the steps required to address and eliminate neck discomfort can range from massage therapy to surgery, but typically it can be addressed with lifestyle changes and informing the patient of proper spine and lumbar needs and practices.
Possible causes include:
==> Sedentary lifestyle. Too much sitting can create back and neck pain and is common for individuals in professional occupations that require extensive desk work. Bad posture is to blame according to most experts who indicate that long hours in front of the computer can actually compress your spine, leading to problems.
Tip: While it can be hard to avoid sitting for certain work activities and meetings, set a good example by making time to stand and stretch. One of the newest trends is to create a ‘standing desk’ that allows you to perform your job functions on your feet, rather than in a seated position. Remember to get up and move to increase circulation, reduce the strain on your back and improve focus and concentration.
==> You spent about a third of your life in bed. Since mattresses tend to be expensive, most people keep them beyond their useful life. The problem is that most standard mattresses begin to lose optimal lumbar support after six to eight years of daily use and when your spine is not aligned during rest or adequately supported, back pain ensues.
Tip: Invest in a good quality bed, and be aware of changes to your mattress that may negatively impact your sleep. If the support or frame of your bed falls, investigate replacement options under warranty. Most mattresses come with a ten year guarantee but few people take advantage of it. If it is not providing a restful night of sleep for you, replace it.
==> When was the last time you replaced your pillows? For some reason people hesitate to replace their pillow with the frequency that is needed to ensure that their neck and spine are getting good support. If you can’t remember the last time you bought a pillow, chances are you need a new one right now.
Tip: The type of pillow you need depends on the position you adopt when you are asleep. Side sleepers require a firm foam base to provide appropriate lumbar support, aligning the neck and the spine in a straight line. When properly supported, most side sleepers can avoid instances of neck pain entirely.
==> Sleep apnea is a condition that creates a delay in breathing pattern. When an individual with sleep apnea experiences a slow gasp, they typically are woken up and change their sleeping position repeating the process several dozen times throughout the night. The tossing and turning can create strain on the neck.
Tip: If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, ensure that you wear a CPAP machine when you sleep. While it can be difficult to get used to at first, you will sleep better with fewer interruptions and breathe easier while eliminating the tossing and turning at night.