Obviously, not all neck pain is to blame on modern technology or the offices that many people work in today. If you suffer from neck pain due to a car accident, a sports injury, an assault, a slip and fall, or simply a lifetime of poor posture, this article is for you too.
The fact is that tech and office jobs are adding to the number of people suffering from neck pain. We’re going to look at some of the worst culprits and then address the chiropractic subspecialty that is helping patients to break away from chronic neck pain.
How Sitting at a Desk All Day Causes Neck Pain
Sitting in and of itself doesn’t cause neck pain. It may be a problem for your lower back if you don’t have enough lumbar support. But many office workers suffer from a stiff or sore neck on a regular basis. Why? Here are a few possibilities.
Monitor height is crucial when you are looking at screens all day. The spine can handle the 10-12 pounds of the head without too much difficulty, but if you are looking down at a 15-degree angle, now your spine is having to deal with about 27 pounds of pressure. That slight incline more than doubles the weight of the head! Multiply that by sitting at your desk 40, 50, 60, or more hours per week, and you have the recipe for neck pain.
The solution? Get those monitors up to eye level. Even if the only option you have is to prop them up on a book, it is worth it.
We’re always on the phone at work, but sometimes you still need your hands. So what do we do? Hold the phone between our ear and shoulder, of course! That’s a terrible position for your neck to be in for even just a few minutes at a time.
The solution? Use speakerphone or get a Bluetooth earpiece if you don’t have enough privacy to use speakerphone at your desk.
Mobile device usage
Whether it is for work purposes or you are sneaking a peek at your social media accounts during business hours, checking your phone over and over again throughout the day can be another big problem. Remember how much pressure it put on your neck when your monitor was just a little low? Now imagine the strain that is caused by craning your neck at a 60-degree angle to check a smartphone that is on your desk or in your lap. You’re talking about 60 pounds of pressure. That is 5 to 6 times what your head weights. Then neck simply isn’t designed to handle that kind of weight frequently.
The solution? Have tech-free times at work and at home. Set specific times when you check your phone, whether it be for business or pleasure. And be sure to lift your phone up when using it, rather than looking down as much. Wearing a watch can reduce the number of times you check your phone for the time – just be sure to raise your wrist rather than looking down.
These are just a few of the ways that office life and mobile device usage are adding to the wear and tear on our necks. Now we’ve given you a few ways to combat these issues, but this isn’t the total solution to neck pain. After all, this additional wear and tear may have caused subluxations in the upper cervical spine. These misalignments, in turn, can cause pain, headaches, and other conditions as a result of restricting blood flow and proper brainstem function. Fortunately, upper cervical chiropractic care is a specific form of chiropractic that addresses misalignments in this precise area of the neck.
Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic for Neck Pain
If your neck is what is hurting, you don’t need your neck popped, your back twisted, and your hips cracked. Upper cervical specific chiropractic was designed to provide a gentle correction to get the top two bones in the neck back into place. Many patients find that this also helps middle and lower back pain because the spine adjusts to compensate for the position of the top two bones of the neck. It’s your body’s way of making sure that your head is always on straight.
Upper cervical chiropractic begins with diagnostic imaging to take precise measurements of the location of your C1 and C2 vertebrae. With calculations down to hundredths of a degree, we can then customize a precise adjustment for each patient. Whether your practitioner performs adjustment by hand or with an instrument, there will be no popping or cracking. Upper cervical adjustments are so gentle that they are safe for all members of the family, from the little ones to their grandparents.
These precise adjustments give the surrounding soft tissue time to heal properly. Once the neck has stabilized, pain should be reduced or eliminated, proper posture should feel natural, and you can space out your adjustments because your atlas (C1) and axis (C2) should hold in place longer. This is the key to long-term relief from neck pain. The other suggestions in our article can help you to hold your adjustments longer.
To learn more about the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic care, especially when it comes to chronic neck pain, we encourage you to find a practitioner in your area. A no-obligation consultation may be your first step on the road to better health and well-being.