If you woke up this morning with a crick in your neck, or if you regularly experience neck pain or stiffness, then you need to know what is causing the problem and how to correct it before neck problems start to become disabling. A study revealed that chronic neck pain might result in a shorter lifespan, so we want to share with you some tips for getting rid of the ache or soreness and for preventing it from returning.
Causes of a Crick in Your Neck
Experiencing a crick in the neck basically comes down to one of three causes.
If you have suffered a head or neck injury, it can result in whiplash, misalignments, and other forms of trauma that can lead to neck pain. Whether it was a car accident, sports injury, or some other type of accident, trauma is the cause of many cases of neck pain.
When you use poor posture while sitting, standing, or even lying down, it can put excess pressure on the spine and causes changes or shifts in the soft tissue. This can result in chronic neck pain.
Bone or joint problems
The primary cause of the bone or joint abnormalities that lead to a crick in the neck is the result of repetitive motion strains. An example would be looking down at a smartphone over and over again or sitting at a desk for work where the monitor is positioned too low. Either situation can create a forward head position which multiplies the weight of the head up to five or six times. Sleep position or the quality of your pillow may also be a factor in bone or joint issues.
Ultimately, all three situations can lead to misalignments of the atlas and axis, the top two bones in the neck that are responsible for more than half of the range of motion of the head. Since they also balance the head, changes can take place along the rest of the spine, even if the C1 and C2 misalignments are slight.
Symptoms of a Crick in the Neck
Besides pain, stiffness, or achiness, several symptoms may accompany a crick in the neck. These include:
- A popping or clicking sound when moving the neck
- Limited range of motion in the neck or head
- The sensation of needing your neck to pop (never try to pop your spine on your own)
- Sore or stiff muscles in the shoulders and upper back
- Difficulty sleeping due to the pain
- Headaches or migraines
How Can You Fix a Crick in Your Neck?
One of the best ways to correct a crick in the neck is to see an upper cervical chiropractor. This is a chiropractor who focuses on precise measurements and adjustments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae located at the base of the skull. Since misalignments in this area can be responsible for many cases of neck pain, this is a great place to start.
What can cause a misalignment? Whether it is head or neck trauma, long-term poor posture, or a repetitive motion injury, misalignments at the top of the neck can be at the source of your pain. A safe and gentle adjustment may be able to help you get relief. As the surrounding soft tissue heals, you may find that you don’t even need to get adjusted very often, so this can be a cost-effective neck pain treatment.
Preventative Tips for Reducing Neck Pain Recurrence
Once your upper cervical chiropractor has you back in good shape, what can you do to prevent another crick in your neck from occurring? Here are a few preventative tips:
Set limits on tech use
The smartphone is a marvelous invention, but we have to use it right. Try having technology-free times. For example, you can have your family stack your phones during dinner. Resist the urge to check your phone over and over. Get a watch to check the time and raise your arm rather than looking down.
Set up an ergonomic desk space
Make sure that your monitors are at eye level. Get a chair with a high back, so you have a headrest. Never use a phone by holding it between your shoulder and ear. Use speakerphone or get a headset.
Replace your pillow or change your sleep position
Sleeping on your stomach is terrible for your neck because it results in having your head twisted to the side all night long. Sleep on your back with a softer pillow or your side with a medium to a firm pillow for extra support.
These simple tips can help you to hold your adjustments longer and can remove the underlying source of your neck problems.
Seek Upper Cervical Chiropractic when You Have a Crick in Your Neck
If you are suffering from neck pain, stiffness, or soreness, seek the help of today. You may be a few safe and gentle adjustments away from receiving the relief that you have been searching for. To find out more, use the search feature on this site to find a preferred doctor in your area. Then schedule a consultation to learn more about how the practitioner will calculate an adjustment specific to your misalignment and will deliver the gentlest adjustment of your life.