These Bad Habits Are Making Your Neck Pain Worse

These Bad Habits Are Making Your Neck Pain Worse

Almost everyone will experience neck pain at some point in their life. About 30% of US adults will deal with it this year, and up to 20-70% of people will suffer from near-debilitating neck pain at some point in their life.

Sometimes, neck pain is a sign of a serious issue or disease. Arthritis, injuries, cancer, and nerve compression can all be behind neck pain. At the same time, it’s often bad habits in our everyday lives that end up causing neck pain.

If you’re currently dealing with constant neck pain or neck pain that over-the-counter pain medication can’t improve, come see the team at Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center. Our team’s goal is to create and execute specific treatment plans to reduce our patients’ pain quickly and effectively.

Defining neck pain

Neck pain is often more than just a dull or sharp aching in your neck. Other symptoms of neck pain include:

In some cases, neck pain can spread down to the shoulders and arms, causing pain, tingling, and numbness.

Phone and tablet use

Think about the position you’re in as you sit and look at your phone. Odds are you don’t hold the phone up at your eye level but rather hunch over as you use your device. There is a term for pain caused by phone and tablet usage – tech neck. Your neck is designed to hold your head, which weighs about 8-10 pounds. When you’re hunched at a 45-degree angle, your neck is supporting 49 pounds. No wonder it hurts. To get rid of tech neck, try to keep your devices at eye level. This applies to handheld devices as well as computers, which may need a computer stand.

Poor posture

If the COVID-19 pandemic has you sitting at home a lot more, you may be experiencing some neck pain. Sitting and slouching for hours on end, whether in an office chair or on the couch, push your vertebrae out of alignment. This misalignment, repeated every day, causes pain that progressively gets worse. Sitting with proper posture can improve this. That means sitting with your neck and spine aligned with your shoulders back. Using the arms of a chair can also help improve your posture.

Handbag syndrome

When you carry a heavy bag on one shoulder, you naturally curve your back and take your spine out of alignment. At the same time, you hike up your shoulder to keep the bag in place and further distort your posture. All of this can lead to some serious fatigue for your neck muscles. To fight handbag syndrome, try to lighten your load or alternate which shoulder you use to carry your bag.

Sleeping on your stomach

When you sleep on your stomach, your back is slightly arched and your neck is turned completely to one side. This misalignment, especially if held for hours at a time, can contribute to neck pain. Even though you can’t keep yourself from naturally moving onto your stomach in your sleep, starting off on your back or side, especially with a proper pillow, will be better for your neck.

To learn more about neck pain and how to manage it, call the practice in Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks, or Washington, Pennsylvania, to schedule a consultation.

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