Daily Habits That Are Causing Neck Pain

Neck pain is common. It is estimated that about one in three people have neck pain at least once a year, occurring more commonly in women than men. The source of common neck pain is usually daily habits that cause the neck’s soft tissues to become weak, strained, or overworked. In addition, this sort of neck pain tends not to need any treatment and eventually goes away on its own. 

However, if you suspect your neck pain results from something more serious, contact the neck pain specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery to discuss the pain and other symptoms you may have. They can determine whether your neck pain results from daily habits or requires more serious attention and recommend available treatments.

What Anatomy of the Neck Can Daily Habits Injure?

The cervical spine and the surrounding muscles contribute to the movements of the head, neck, upper back, and shoulders. These body parts provide a range of movements you may take for granted. They contribute to the movement of your head, neck and shoulders by allowing the motion of:

  • Rolling the head in a circular motion on the neck
  • Bending the neck to the side
  • Rotating the head from side to side
  • Tilting the chin upward
  • Extending the head upward
  • Stretching the neck backward
  • Lifting the shoulder blades
  • Supporting your posture
  • Flexing the neck forward

The muscles in the body’s neck and shoulders also support the cervical spine and protect vulnerable anatomies, such as the carotid artery. Pain may result when the muscles that perform these functions are weakened, strained, or overworked due to daily habits. 

Checking Your Phone and Texting Can Cause Neck Pain

The primary daily habit that is the cause of neck pain is constantly looking at your phone and texting. Positioning your 10 to 12-pound head at an angle to view your phone puts strain on your neck muscles and creates a bad posture. According to spine surgery specialists, the posture created from looking at the phone, sometimes very often during the day, can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on the upper spine.

Because of gravity, your 10 to 12-pound head tilting at 15 degrees can increase the pressure on the cervical spine to 27 pounds, while at 60 degrees, the typical texting posture creates a force of 60 pounds. This force on the neck and shoulders is applied several times a day, depending on how often you look at your phone. That’s about 700 to 1,400 hours a year of excess pressure to which you subject your cervical spine.

The Daily Habit of Working at a Computer May Cause Neck Pain 

About 45% of working Americans experience neck pain because of the chairs they may be sitting in when working at a computer. If the chair you sit in makes you sit in an unnatural way for your body, this can create neck pain. For example, if your chair doesn’t support the natural curve of the spine, this may cause you to slouch and lean over the desk.

The natural shape of the spine is an S-curve. However, constantly slouching and leaning over the desk creates an unnatural C-curve in the spine, producing unnecessary pressure on the neck and causing pain. 

How Neck Pain Can Be Prevented

If you have to look at your phone and text several times a day, try to make it a habit to bring the phone up to your eyes rather than look down. This habit will ensure that your head stays upright, avoiding neck pain. Of course, it is possible to type text in this position too, but if it’s cumbersome to do so, try voice texting instead of typing. Voice texting will also help create a habit of keeping your head upright when handling your phone.

If you’re in a working situation where the chairs you sit in aren’t supporting your spine as they should, discuss this with your boss or HR department. Take advantage of standing workstations if they are available. However, if there’s no recourse on the type of chair you sit in, set an alarm to remind yourself to stand up, stretch, and change positions every 30 to 40 minutes, taking the pressure off of your spine more frequently during the day.

The Florida Neck Pain Specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery Can Help With Your Neck Pain 

When your neck pain prevents you from enjoying activities, working, or exercising, visit our Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery neck pain specialists. We can determine what is causing your neck pain and provide solutions and remedies to minimize it.

The medical staff at OLSS specializes in neck pain management, no matter how severe and will apply the best methods to treat your neck pain. If you’re experiencing neck pain, especially if you suspect it results from a more severe condition, call us at (855) 853-6542 or complete our contact form for a complete assessment and treatment plan.

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