Is Your Lifestyle Causing Your Neck Pain?

Is Your Lifestyle Causing Your Neck Pain?

About 4 in 5 Americans experience neck pain in their lifetimes. And for nearly half of those people, the pain is chronic.

While neck pain can be caused by an underlying condition like arthritis or degenerative disc disease, it isn’t always. For many people, neck pain is fueled by their everyday habits.

Your neck consists of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves that all work together to support your head. And many factors — from your sleeping position to your posture at work — could be causing neck pain and stiffness.

If you’ve noticed pesky neck pain over the last few days or weeks, don’t ignore it. Peter Le, DC, at Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc. in Santa Monica, California, is here to diagnose the cause of your pain and find remedies to relieve it.

Is your lifestyle contributing to your neck pain? Now’s the time to find out.

Incorrect sleeping position

You spend about a third of your life sleeping, and how you sleep can affect your spine health over time. Sleeping on your back or your side generally keeps your spine in a neutral position during the night.

But sleeping on your stomach could put extra strain on your back and your neck. Eventually, a poor sleeping position like this could lead to neck pain and stiffness.

If you’re a stomach sleeper, consider changing your sleeping position to take pressure off your neck. Look for a firm mattress and a pillow that comfortably supports your head to give your neck a break.

Poor posture

Your body positioning during the day affects neck health too. Between smartphones, tablets, computers, and TV, most Americans spend much of the day looking at screens. When you’re focused on a screen, it’s easy to let your shoulders slouch and your head drift forward. 

“Tech neck” is the nickname given to poor posture while using screens. Spending hours in a hunched position puts strain on your neck, and tech neck is a leading cause of neck pain among people of all ages.

To fight tech neck, pay attention to your head position when you use screens. Keep your neck in a neutral position by adjusting your workspace and elevating your screen so it’s at eye level. Focus on keeping your ears aligned above your shoulders and maintain a straight spine. Take regular breaks to help avoid eye strain.

A sedentary lifestyle

If you have neck pain, the thought of working out might make you cringe. But a lack of activity may actually contribute to worsening neck pain.

Being sedentary contributes to stiffness and loss of mobility in your joints. To combat pain and stiffness, consider participating in low-impact aerobic exercises. Even gentle exercise boosts blood flow in your body and helps eliminate stiffness.

Aim to get about 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. If you’re not sure what type of exercise is best for you, Dr. Le can recommend neck stretches and exercises to improve function and reduce pain.

Breaking bad habits and introducing healthy ones isn’t easy, but it can make a big difference if you have neck pain and stiffness. At Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc., we can help you find chiropractic care and adopt new lifestyle habits to make your neck pain a thing of the past.

Learn more about improving spine health and reducing neck pain with a consultation. Call us at 310-451-5851 or request your first appointment online now.

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Link Between Prolonged Sitting and Sciatica

Sciatica is a common condition that triggers radiating nerve pain through the lower back, buttocks, and legs. It develops when the sciatic nerve is compressed, and spending long hours sitting could make it worse. Learn why and find treatment here.

5 Signs of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is common, but symptoms often develop slowly and can be easy to miss until your pain becomes significant. Learn to recognize the most common signs of spinal stenosis so you can get the care you need to relieve your pain.

What Causes Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a common cause of severe lower back pain although it can occur in the neck as well.. It happens when a vertebral bone slides slightly forward from the vertebra just below it. Why does this happen and how can it be treated?

When to See a Specialist About Back Pain

Back pain is common. Almost everyone experiences back pain at one time or another, but does your discomfort warrant an appointment with a back pain specialist? Find out when it might be time to schedule an appointment with our specialists.

What Causes a Disc to Herniate?

Herniated discs are a common back injury. But do you know what causes a vertebral disc to herniate? Or if you’re at risk for a herniated disc? Learn all about disc herniation and your treatment options here.

I Think My Teen Has Scoliosis

Do you tell your teen not to slouch all the time? Could their poor posture actually be a sign of scoliosis? Learn more about adolescent scoliosis and what you can do about it.