What a pain in the neck!

Neck Anatomy

With neck pain the first thing to consider is the fact that your head is basically a bowling bowl, weighing about 10-12lbs. The important job of balancing this enormous weight falls to the neck bones, which have to distribute the forces evenly. It has been cited that for every inch the head is held forward in poor posture, an additional 10 pounds of weight is felt on the cervical spine. That means if your head moves 2 inches forward it would triple the normal forces on your cervical spine by making it balance 30lbs… Woah, let that sink in for a moment and think about putting a 25lb weight on your neck.

The Mayo clinic says, “Neck pain is the fourth leading cause of disability, with an annual prevalence rate exceeding 30%. Most episodes of acute neck pain will resolve with or without treatment, but nearly 50% of individuals will continue to experience some degree of pain or frequent occurrences.” Keep reading below to get an idea of what is going on.

  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive improper motions
  • Bad sleep habits
  • Gritting your teeth
  • Carrying a heavy shoulder bag or purse
  • Sports injuries
  • Car accidents involving whiplash
  • Arm nerve pain coming from the neck called radiculitis
  • Degenerative conditions
  • Disc injuries
  • Facet joint injuries
  • Whiplash injuries, which are sprains and strains of the neck ligaments and muscles
  • Torticollis where muscles hold an initial spasm locking down the neck
  • Head aches originating from the neck

Preventing your neck pain

Other things to consider with preventing neck pain

  • Use constant cueing to maintain good posture
  • Take frequent stretch breaks
  • Pay attention to how you use electronics, watch tv, and read, etc.
  • Avoid carrying heavy bags with straps over your shoulder.
  • Sleep in a position that maintains a neutral neck angle.

Common Conservative Treatment Options For Neck Pain

  • Increases neck spinal joint movement
  • Decreases irritation and inflammation
  • Decreases the muscle pain and stiffness
  • Decreases the time spent in pain
  • Decreases muscle pain
  • Increases movement
  • Increases proper healing
  • Increases proper healing
  • Decreases muscle pain
  • Decreases inflammation and swelling
  • Decreases muscle pain
  • Decreases Stiffness
  • Increases movement
  • Increases proper healing
  • Corrects and reenforces proper posture 
  • Increases mobility
  • Increases strength
  • Decreases stiffness
  • Decreases pain

We hope this blog will serve as a resource to help you understand pain on a deeper level that will enable you to come up with daily strategies for more pain free days. If you would like to be screened to see if you are a candidate that could start receiving the benefits of chiropractic care in our office you can (schedule here).

We appreciate your continued interest in our blog. Please subscribe here so you can be notified for the up-coming series, which will give a detailed look at the specific neck conditions listed above. We will start with neck related nerve pain called radiculitis next week.

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