While many people associate neck pain with a sudden injury, such as suffering whiplash as a result of a car accident, the reality is that neck pain can arise over a long period of time as a result of everyday habits. If your neck is sore, you shouldn't necessarily try to evaluate whether you had an acute injury. Instead, it's important to evaluate whether your everyday habits may be contributing to this discomfort. Correcting these habits can often result in a reduction in your soreness, but you may also wish to visit a chiropractor for an assessment and any required treatment. Here are some everyday things that can lead to neck pain.
Sleeping in a Bad Position
Certain sleeping positions that may be comfortable at the time can lead to neck discomfort in the long run. For example, you might find that sleeping on your stomach is comfortable, but the fact that your head is turned at a sharp angle can strain your muscles and even affect the healthy curvature of your spine. Similarly, contorting your body in an unnatural way in bed can also lead to neck pain. Generally, keeping your body as neutral as possible is a good idea. If you're able to lie on your back with your head kept in alignment with your spine with your pillow, you may be able to decrease your neck pain.
Slouching While Seated
If you sit a lot during the day, failing to sit up straight may lead to neck pain. When you slouch, your head may be either in front of your shoulders or behind them. In either position, you're constantly using your neck muscles to support your neck, compared to when it sits neutrally above your shoulders when you're in an upright posture. Poor posture at your desk at work, in your vehicle, and sitting on the couch at home may all worsen your pain. If you're able to be mindful about avoiding slouching, relief may be on the way.
Using Unhealthy Workday Habits
Beyond slouching at your desk, your workday habits may also contribute to your neck pain. This can occur if you work in a physically demanding job, as you could constantly be straining your upper-body muscles — perhaps when carrying heavy equipment, for example — but it can also happen if you work a desk job. If you spend much of your time on the phone and hold the phone with your shoulder so that you can type as you listen, this unnatural position may generate discomfort. Fixing this habit by selecting the speakerphone mode, for example, is a simple solution.
Talk to specialists at clinics like Physical Therapy at ACAC to learn more about how to reduce your neck pain.