If you find yourself rubbing your neck often, you’re probably one of the millions of Americans who experience regular and recurring neck pain. Neck pain is rarely a sign of a serious medical condition. Most discomfort can be alleviated by seeing a chiropractor for neck pain as well as slight modifications to your current lifestyle. Here are four common habits that cause neck pain and how to fix them.
The number one culprit of neck pain is bad posture. Slouching in front of a computer all day can wreak havoc on your cervical spine and muscles, which can lead to serious and sometimes chronic pain. And poor posture doesn’t stop at the computer. Slouching while sitting on the couch can do just as much damage. Poor posture forces your neck and spine out of its natural alignment, and in some cases can lead to sciatica, disc pain, and an array of other conditions.
Luckily, bad posture is one of the easiest things to fix. If you’re conscientious, you can often correct slumped shoulders and slouching by simply reminding yourself to sit up straight. If you aren’t the type to remember to correct your posture until it’s too late (and your neck is aching), there’s a wide selection of posture correction devices available online that will help you keep your spine and neck in proper alignment.
To correct your posture naturally, always sit up straight, keep your feet flat on the ground, and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. If you work at a computer all day, get up every hour and move around. Also, consider an ergonomic chair that will help correct your posture. Or, if you want to get serious, think about a standing desk.
Lack of Exercise
Harking back to spending too much time on the couch or in front of the computer, a lack of physical exercise can lead to a whole slew of spinal issues. Weight gain and muscle stiffness are huge contributors to neck and back pain.
Exercise to alleviate neck pain doesn’t need to involve a gym membership. Walking is a great way to get moving and relieve tension. Aim for 30 minutes a day three to five days per week. If walking isn’t your style, try yoga, pilates, or even Tai Chi.
The position in which we sleep dramatically affects the alignment of the neck and spine. If you’re sleeping on a bad mattress or haven’t replaced your pillow in a decade, chances are you’re exacerbating your pain every time you go to bed.
There are a variety of pillows that keep the cervical spine in a natural position while you sleep. Seek out a rounded pillow to support the curve of your spine. Also, take into consideration that not all memory foam pillows are created equal. Some foam can be far too firm, which can make your neck pain worse. When shopping for a good pillow, it’s best to visit a store in person so you can give the pillow a quick test run. And if memory foam causes you to sweat at night, look for one that has a top layer of body cooling gel, or consider a pillow with a cooling pillow cover.
Avoiding the Problem
Nobody likes going to the doctor, but if you’re suffering from frequent or chronic neck pain that isn’t alleviated by adjusting your posture or increasing your physical activity, you may have a slipped disk or another condition that can only be corrected by a visit to the chiropractor.
Chiropractor adjustments are an ideal way to not only alleviate the pain you’re experiencing but to get a professional opinion as to why you’re experiencing discomfort. Your chiropractor has a variety of ways he can adjust your neck and spine to alleviate your pain.
Looking for a chiropractor for neck pain in West Bloomfield, MI? Michigan Chiropractic Specialists are dedicated to finding you relief!