There are many different underlying factors when it comes to neck pain. How can you determine the underlying cause of neck pain so that you can know the best way to correct the problem naturally? Here are some questions that can help you get to the heart of the matter and find some drug-free relief.
Are You Keeping Properly Hydrated?
The discs between the vertebrae rely on proper hydration in order to maintain their spongy texture and to properly protect your spine. The average person should be drinking at least eight glasses of water per day. That’s a half a gallon. If you live in a hot, dry climate or you drink other liquids that can dehydrate you (coffee, tea, soda, alcohol, etc.), then you may need even more water.
Do You Carry a Heavy Shoulder Bag for Work/School?
Placing a large load on just one shoulder can pull the neck out of proper alignment. Therefore, it is good to keep shoulder bags light or switch to a backpack so you can distribute the weight in an even manner. If you do have to carry a heavy shoulder bag, carry it as high up as you can, and switch sides periodically.
Do You Sleep on Your Stomach?
Stomach sleepers often have neck problems because it means that you have to sleep with your head turned to the side all night long in order to breathe. Switching to side or back sleeping may help you to lessen the pain that you feel when you wake up in the morning.
What Is the Quality of Your Mattress/Pillow?
To go along with sleep position, you have to think about how your pillow and mattress are affecting your neck. An old, worn out mattress could be causing issues throughout your entire spine. Pillow selection should be related to sleep position. A back sleeper needs a softer pillow. A side sleeper should be using something with medium firmness and maybe even gussets for extra support.
Is Your Work Desk Set Up Ergonomically?
A forward head position is one of the major issues leading to neck pain in the modern world of office jobs. One of the key ways to avoid this problem is to keep all of your screens at eye level. This may mean putting something under your monitor to prop it up. If you work from a laptop, you can try attaching an external monitor at a better height, or you can get an external keyboard and prop up the laptop itself to eye level.
Are You Addicted to Mobile Technology?
Your head weighs about 10-12 pounds. But when you crane your neck forward to look at a mobile device, even to just a 15-degree angle, you triple that pressure. A 60-degree angle – looking at your phone in your lap, for example – can increase the pressure to about 60 pounds. So you can imagine how checking your phone over and over again throughout the day can lead to neck problems. If you are struggling with tech addiction, you are not alone, and learning to control technology use can have beneficial effects for your neck and other aspects of your life as well.
Do You Use Proper Posture?
Whether sitting or standing, posture is going to play a big role in the health of your spine. Try checking your posture in a mirror or have a friend or family member observe your posture. Do you keep your ears, shoulders, hips, and heels directly in a line from your head to your feet?
When sitting, be sure that your feet can reach the ground and are planted firmly or get a footstool to rest your feet on. You should have plenty of lumbar support, especially if you have to sit for long hours at work. If you do sit all day for work, be sure to get up and stretch a little every hour to keep your neck and back from stiffening up too much. When driving a car for long periods of time, you should regularly take breaks, even if it is just to walk around.
When Is the Last Time You Had Your Neck Alignment Checked?
A misalignment in the neck can cause the destabilization of the surrounding soft tissue. This can cause pain, stiffness, and many other effects both in the neck and in other parts of the body. Therefore, it is vital to have your upper cervical alignment checked if you are suffering from neck pain.
Upper cervical chiropractors specialize in precision detection and correction of misalignments of the top two bones in the neck. Since these bones are responsible for balancing the skull and for most of the range of movement of the head, it makes sense that this is usually the source of the pain when someone is dealing with soreness or stiffness in the neck.
If you have recurring bouts of neck pain, it is a good idea to schedule a consultation with an upper cervical chiropractor near you. Correcting C1 and C2 misalignments while neck pain is still the primary symptom can help to prevent future issues such as migraines, vertigo, and other problems that have been linked to misalignments in the upper neck.
To learn more, use the search features on this site to find a preferred practitioner in your area. This may be your first step on the path to getting rid of neck pain for good.