Neck pain has become a regular part of the life of many individuals. It often comes hand in hand with symptoms like headaches. Unfortunately, frequent neck pain and headache can disrupt your routine and affect your overall wellbeing. Have you ever wondered what causes it in the first place? Why is it a widespread problem today?
Some explain that smartphones and the growing popularity of sedentary work and lifestyle are the main reasons behind this trend. However, other studies also note that certain factors can trigger or contribute to neck pain. Some examples of which include body mass index, previous injuries, and old age.
This implies that if you want to find a better way to eliminate your symptoms, you need to learn how to deal with the source of your pain and avoid or minimize your neck pain risk factors.
Neck Pain – A Leading Problem in Today’s World
Everyone experiences neck pain at one point in life. It’s a common symptom because it can result from several things. Sometimes, it gets triggered when you overextend the neck during a sports event. It can also develop when you get injured in a car collision or have pre-existing health conditions such as osteoarthritis. Finally, on rare occasions, it can denote serious health concerns like cardiovascular diseases or cancer.
Bad posture while sitting down can also account for neck pain. It’s a leading problem today, especially among people who work remotely and those who love to view their mobile or computer screen below eye level.
Why Neck Pain Happens
The neck’s unique structure and innately flexible nature make it prone to damage and cervical subluxation. Sadly, when your neck bones shift – even by the tiniest fraction – you experience neck pain and increase your risk for developing other problems.
This happens because the misaligned bones press on nearby muscles and nerve tissues. The faulty alignment also compromises your spine alignment, contributing to the onset of worse conditions ranging from lower back pain to numbing of the leg muscles. The misalignment also tends to affect the brain, making you prone to headaches or migraine attacks.
Neck Pain Risk Factors
Similar to other health concerns, neck pain also comes with a set of risk factors. If you meet any of the criteria below, your likelihood of developing neck pain and its varying accompanying symptoms also increases.
Body Mass Index
According to a study, BMI can affect neck endurance. The higher your BMI gets, the more strain your neck muscles and bones have to put up with every day. It may help you cope better if you maintain a healthy BMI.
As the body ages, several functionalities and features also diminish in quality. This includes your neck and spinal health. While getting older, the protective discs between each cervical and spinal bone slowly degrade. Consequently, this increases friction and causes you more pain with each movement.
Using non-ergonomic furnishing when working
Maintaining good posture plays is one thing that can help you address neck pain. If you need to work for long hours in front of the computer, we recommend using ergonomic furniture. This way, you can ensure maximum comfort and provide ample support to your spine.
Lack of physical activity
It’s no secret that maintaining a sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health. It can cause a plethora of problems ranging from stiff muscles to an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. Unfortunately, according to CDC’s latest numbers, one out of four Americans sit for more than eight hours a day for work. As a result, many of the country’s working young adults struggle with neck pain from time to time.
Pre-existing health problems
As we have discussed earlier, neck pain is a leading symptom of various health concerns like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. If you have pre-existing health problems, we suggest consulting with your physician to know the best procedure you can use.
Previous Injuries or Accidents
Neck trauma can also account for your neck pain. When you accidentally overextend or suffer from a blunt force to the neck, the bones tend to shift by a small degree. This causes your bones to impact the brainstem, muscles, and other surrounding tissues. Sometimes, the pain manifests months or years after an accident, so it would be wise to have your neck bones examined if you have a recurring neck pain problem.
Addressing the Possible Source of Your Pain
Achieving long-term relief from neck pain and headache requires looking into the factors that triggered them. For example, if your symptoms stem from diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, you might find relief by taking NSAIDs to lessen inflammation.
If, on the one hand, it got triggered by a neck or head injury you had months before, then you might find upper cervical care helpful in coping. It’s a practical approach that aims to correct the neck bone alignment – the likely reason behind your pain, severe bouts of headaches, and other accompanying symptoms.
Several case studies attest to the effectiveness of upper cervical care in managing and even reducing the severity and frequency of symptoms like headache and neck pain. It works by gradually shifting the misaligned bones and releasing tension on the neck muscles, nerves, and nerve roots.
Once your upper cervical care doctor fully restores the original alignment, you can potentially experience less frequent and severe neck pain. It can also prevent the onset of other health problems that stem from an atlas subluxation.
Contact a neck pain and headache chiropractor near you to learn more about upper cervical care today.