Are you suffering from neck pain? If so, you’re in good company. Approximately one-quarter of American adults experience neck pain at some point in their lives.
Your neck plays an important role in your health. Not only does it protect your spinal cord, but it’s also home to the nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support your head.
While rarely due to a serious health problem, neck pain can wreak havoc on your daily life and make you miserable.
Neck pain specialist John S. Michels, MD understands the need to treat your neck pain efficiently and effectively so you can get back to your daily routine.
Medical intervention is sometimes required to treat neck pain, but it’s often bad habits that create pain in the first place. We’ve put together this useful guide to help you understand how your habits might be causing you pain.
Most of us don’t think about our posture. In our modern world, we spend much of our time sitting in cars, at a computer, in front of the television, staring at our phones, and so on.
With poor posture, the way you sit moves your spine out of its natural position. This hunched position places your head in front of your shoulders instead of above them.
When your head rests too far forward, the muscles in your neck and upper back strain. It also stretches the spinal cord and nerves, creating compression, discomfort, and pain.
The way you sleep can create serious problems for your neck — particularly if you’re a stomach sleeper. Sleeping on your stomach places a tremendous amount of stress on your neck.
To sleep on your stomach, you have to turn your head and neck fully to the side. This position puts your neck at an awkward angle that pulls the muscles and bones in the neck.
Your neck will protest this awkward sleeping position by being stiff and sore every morning. Over time, this pain will persist throughout the day.
It may sound silly, but tech neck is no joke. Like most people, you probably spend countless hours hunched over a computer or staring down at your phone.
Looking down at technology pulls your head too far forward, straining your neck. Over time, tech neck can become a serious danger to your neck health. The extra pressure on the upper spine can cause discs to slip out of place. They may even bulge, or herniate, over time.
As the discs bulge or slip out of place, nearby nerves become irritated or compressed. Pain, weakness, or numbing in the shoulders or arms from pinched nerves, called cervical radiculopathy, can result. In serious cases, surgical intervention may be required.
The first step in putting your neck pain behind you is to change any habits that could be causing pain. Even after changing your habits, it may take time for the pain to subside.
It’s important to visit a doctor with experience and expertise in neck pain, like Dr. Michels. He'll diagnose your condition and recommend a customized treatment plan to reduce your pain. Your plan might include home exercises, physical therapy, and even anti-inflammatory medications.
If your neck pain persists, Dr. Michels may recommend additional interventions. He offers specialized interventional treatments including:
To learn what might be causing your neck pain, as well as innovative therapies to relieve it, book an appointment online or call our office at 214-380-5724 today.