One of the most common ailments a person can experience is neck pain. That is nothing new. However, there many things in our modern world that are contributing to the problem of neck pain, potentially making it both more severe and more frequent. In today’s article, we will take a closer look at some of the aspects of modern life that may be turning neck pain into a pandemic. The scary thing is that we are mostly causing the problem for ourselves. The good news is that you can make a few lifestyle adjustments to fix the problem and that natural help is available for stubborn pain.
Office Work: A Real Pain in the Neck
In the modern world, everyone wants a cushy office job. We don’t want to have to do physical labor for 40 years. However, that comfortable office may be what’s causing the neck pain we can’t seem to shake. One study that involved office workers in Iran revealed that neck pain was more common among those with a forward head posture. This sort of position often develops due to a modern work environment.
For example, when computer monitors are positioned too low, it requires the user to maintain an inclined head posture for hours at a time. This can cause extra pressure on the spine and can lead to misalignments and the onset of a forward head position. Other poor posture choices at a desk include sitting with crossed legs, hunching the shoulders, hold a phone between the ear and shoulder, and so on. Don’t forget too that we often resort to poor posture while commuting to work.
The Solution: Don’t sit all day. Have some stretches you can perform periodically at your desk, or take walks, even if just to the bathroom or watercooler. Make sure monitors are at eye level. Use speakerphone or a Bluetooth headset if you need your hands free while on the phone. Don’t forget to exercise regularly to strengthen your core, as this will help to support your entire spine.
Text Neck: How Your Smartphone May Be Causing Your Neck Pain
Text neck refers to neck problems stemming from the frequent use of modern mobile devices. According to research published on bankmycell.com, the average person uses a smartphone or tablet more than four and half hours per day. More than an hour of that time is spent on the leading social media apps. Canada is number seven among the top ten countries for smartphone usage. All of this adds up to neck pain. How does text neck work?
It all comes down to the fact that the more you tilt your head, the more pressure you place on your neck. The neck is always holding the head, which already weighs approximately 12 pounds. However, if you keep your phone in your lap or at waist level and crane your neck at a 60-degree angle, now you are putting 60 pounds of pressure on your spine. Holding your devices higher will help, but it doesn’t completely fix the problem. For example, a 15-degree angle of incline still increases the pressure on the spine to 27 pounds.
The Solution: Avoid excessive phone usage. Take regular breaks and avoid looking down at a device for prolonged periods of time. Hold your device as high as possible when in use. Set aside times of the day as technology-free. For example, if your family eats dinner together, pile the smartphones up and just talk to each other during the meal. You can even turn it into a game – the first person to cave and grab their phone has to clear the table.
Stress: Storing Your Burdens and Responsibilities
According to Psychology Today, the neck and shoulders are where we store stresses such as the responsibilities and burdens that we each have to bear. This can cause neck pain, tension, tightness, stiffness, and so on. Much of the stress that we experience in the modern world stems from the two other sources of neck pain we just discussed, work and technology. How often do people feel stressed about their jobs and their relationships (which are often mostly maintained via smartphone nowadays)? It is the recipe for chronic neck issues.
The Solution: Try to reduce unnecessary stress in your life. Then try to find positive ways to cope with your stress. Remember that smoking or overindulging in alcohol can actually make neck problems worse. It is better to take an occasional vacation, try a relaxing hobby, talk out your stresses with a confidant, or things like these.
Specific Help for Chronic Neck Pain
One source of potential relief from chronic neck pain is upper cervical specific chiropractic. This is a gentle form of chiropractic that focuses on the top two bones in the neck using precise adjustments that are based on diagnostic imaging techniques. You have to make lifestyle changes to avoid the causes of neck pain in modern life. However, if you have an upper cervical misalignment due to some of the things mentioned in this article, it is also essential to correct this underlying issue.
If you are dealing with stubborn neck pain, schedule a consultation with an upper cervical chiropractor. You may find that this is your first step on the path to receiving some natural help. Combined with your efforts to maintain proper posture, you can get the assistance you need for your neck pain.