While you’re at work or cleaning up the house you might start to notice some tension in your neck.
Stress, having poor posture, and other unhealthy habits can influence the manifestation of this problem.
An estimated seven out of ten people suffer from neck pain at some point in their lives, but it’s normally not a chronic problem and disappears on its own.
Neck pain is usually caused by too much strain in the muscles that surround this part of your spine as they try to realign it to its normal curvature.
That’s why it’s not surprising that you might also experience shoulder problems and even headaches.
While it’s usually not a major health problem you should still try to avoid neck pain because it can lead to serious problems, such as degeneration of the spine.
That’s why in today’s article we want to discuss six possible causes of neck pain and various ways to prevent it. Find out more!
1. Weakening of the musclesLeading a sedentary lifestyle, constant stress, or sudden movements are common causes of a degradation in the muscles of this part of the body.
The problem can be exacerbated when you don’t get enough nutrition from food or you’re over extending your body during exercise.
See also: How to tone your chest muscles
2. Poor posture
Poor posture while sitting or standing for an extended period of time can cause pain and trigger some serious consequences for your bones and joints.
Staying in the same position for hours, in front of a computer for example, can cause your muscles to become rigid and more susceptible to injury.
Something similar can happen to people who sew or engage in other activities that require the neck to be bent for long periods of time.
It’s a good idea to take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes to stretch and correct your posture.
3. Emotional problemsUntil a few decades ago, many medical professionals didn’t want to recognize the strong relationship between your emotional and physical health.
After much research, however, it’s well known that much of the pain you have in your spinal region can be due to emotional strain.
Anxiety, worry, stress, and depression are states of mind that generate a lot of pressure on the body. It’s easy to perceive this tension in the shoulders, neck, and back.
4. Chemical reactions
Your body’s responses to various chemical and nerve stimuli have also been linked to episodes of neck pain.
Excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol, and meat products can cause changes in the body’s pH, triggering inflammation and other negative reactions.
5. Cigarette useToxic compounds in cigarettes can cause chronic diseases in your vital organs and tissues.
Drinking heavily increases the strain on your back and neck because it dehydrates the discs and accelerates their deterioration.
6. Continuous use of a smartphone
People who use their smartphone continuously are more likely to suffer from neck and back pain than those who only use it when they need to.
Every time you lower your head to look at your phone you compress the muscles of your neck and tension builds up.
Recommendations to prevent pain in the neckIn addition to avoiding most of the triggers we mentioned above, here are a few guidelines that you can implement to avoid neck pain.
- Do stretching exercises at least once a day.
- Target your back, shoulders, head, and neck with these exercises.
- Sleep on a firm mattress with a pillow that’s not too tall.
- Try to keep your posture upright and don’t sit for prolonged periods.
- Be careful when lifting heavy objects form the floor and ask for help if possible.
- Sleep on your back or side, avoiding sleeping on your stomach.
- Wear a coat when the temperatures drop.
- Eat foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all of which are essential for healthy muscles and joints.
Now that you know what might be causing your neck pain, try some of these healthy habits to keep it from ruining your day.
If your pain persists even though you’re following these guidelines, see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.