For some people, neck pain is due to serious injuries or traumatic events, like car accidents. For others, though, it seems to happen all on its own for no apparent reason. If you've tried caring for your neck pain with medication, ice packs, and even stretches with no relief, there's a good chance that your neck pain is due to your regular posture. Here's what you should know about it.
Neck Posture Problems
Poor neck posture is becoming more and more common these days due to the proliferation of electronic devices. While neck posture started to become a more common problem once computers became regularly used by most people, it's only gotten worse since cellphones and other hand-held electronic devices have become commonplace.
When you use a computer, your neck and head tend to jut forward unless you have an ergonomic desk and setup. With hand-held devices, your head may dip down and your neck juts forward again. It's quite rare for people to hold their electronic devices at an eye-level, which is ideal for posture, so this may be the leading cause behind why your neck pain and neck posture aren't great.
Why It's So Hard to Fix
Even if you're consciously aware of your poor neck posture and the pain that it's causing and want to make a change, it's not always easy to do so. That's because over months or years of having poor posture, your neck has changed the way that it works.
In essence, when you lean your neck forward, you're stretching and stressing out the muscles at the back and sides of your neck. The muscles in the front of your neck, however, don't have to do anything in this position. So the muscles on the back of your neck typically become exhausted from overwork, making it hard to resume an upright position, and the muscles at the front of the neck don't do their job picking up the slack because they've become weak over time. So simply forcing yourself to hold your neck upright may not be the solution you need.
In this scenario, one of the best things that you can do is to get help from a chiropractor.
Chiropractors are experts at working with the spine and its support structure (the muscles surrounding the spine). While you may not necessarily think of your neck pain as a spinal problem, your spine has no doubt been impacted by having your neck and head slumping forward on a regular basis. This can cause pain because the vertebrae are pulled further apart than they should be, in addition to the muscle strain previously mentioned.
Your chiropractor can help you by reducing the strain in your muscles and providing you with a list of simple exercises you can do to start strengthening the ones that have become weak. In addition, an initial spine adjustment will relieve some of the strain in the vertebrae in your neck, which will instantly relieve pain.
For help dealing with your neck pain, contact a chiropractor like Eric Schmetterling DC.