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How Neck Pain Develops and What You Can Do to Reduce It


Imagine this scenario: you’ve been glued to your phone for a few minutes. You start feeling a tinge in the back of your neck and you finally let your head up for a moment. Your neck feels awful. There’s so much pain in the back that you start moving it all around trying to gain relief but it just doesn’t seem to be enough. What’s worse is you feel like you’ve got a headache and your eyes are burning a little from the screen time.


[National Posture Institute] How Neck Pain Develops and What You Can Do to Reduce It


How many times has this happened to you? How many times do you think this happens to the average American on a regular basis? When sitting, driving, reading, or performing some other activity of daily living it’s customary for us to hang our heads or lean to one side. It seems like nothing at first, you’re so accustomed to the position that you may not feel it until a few minutes in. At that point it feels like a dull pain in the back of your neck and if you just look upward or tilt your head back it’ll be fine.


It doesn’t seem important now, but this is the beginning of more serious issues. The constant arching, leaning, or hanging of the neck over to perform regular tasks will add up and eventually land you in a hospital room. You could be days away from a pinched nerve or you’re steadily developing forward head posture (FHP) and you’d never know.


In case you haven’t heard about forward head posture (FHP), think of it as the head and neck protruding forward. Next time you look in the mirror, turn sideways and look at the natural position of your neck. If your head and neck are pushed forward, then there’s a good chance you have FHP. You’re not alone either; look around you at your next social outing.


Conditions like this develop due to several factors. The position of the head while you’re sleeping, extended use of computers and cellphones, weakened back muscles, strained and tight neck muscles, and sometimes a lack of calcium are all causes. If you experience numbness, tingling, or burning pain between the shoulder blades, it’s past time you paid notice and make some changes.


Before we stray too far from the subject of FHP, text neck, as FHP is sometimes called, is one of the many causes for neck pain. According to the Spine Health website, text neck is a term used to describe neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or wireless device too frequently and for too long.


Neck pain has become increasingly more common throughout the world because of consistent poor body alignment when using devices. Just about everyone has a cell phone these days and many users can expect some kind of neck pain because they aren’t paying attention to their body alignment and their muscles have adapted to the poor posture position making it easier, and more dangerous, for them to maintain that position without discomfort.


While posture is certainly a contributing factor toward neck pain some factors aren’t related to posture. Some of the most common causes of neck pain include degenerative disc disease, neck strain, and a neck injury. Injuries include whiplash, a herniated disc, or a pinched nerved. Neck pain can also be caused by infections (e.g. a lymph node that leads to swelling and subsequent neck pain).


If you’re experiencing headaches and sharp pain it may already be too late and you should probably work harder to adapt your habits and body alignment to reduce the symptoms. If you know you use your phone or a mobile device often, take breaks and adjust the way you’re using them so your head and neck are in a safe position. Also, make sure your pillow and rest area is a safe space for your head and neck. If your head is pushed forward when it touches your pillow then adjust it or get a new one.


While performing activities of daily living, keep your head up, shoulders back as if pinching a pencil between your shoulder blades, and chest out so that you can maintain proper body alignment. If you can’t maintain this position, make sure to take breaks often to let yourself rest. Lastly, before you hit the gym make sure your routines include some form of stretching and strengthening of the upper back.


To increase awareness across the population, we consistently work with professionals to educate them on the importance of good posture and body alignment. That’s in big part the reason for our NPI-Certified Posture Specialist™ program. If you’re interested in helping others with their posture and want to join the growing body of professionals that do, check out the program. To help you get started, we are offering a $50 off discount through this Sunday.


Use promo code CPS50 to save $50 on our NPI-Certified Posture Specialist™ program. Click Here to Register Now >>

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