Neck pain is sometimes caused by an acute injury, such as when you get whiplash from a car accident. Other times, neck pain can develop from chronic bad posture that puts a strain on your muscles and spine. Here's a look at the damage caused by bad posture and how you can manage the neck pain it causes.
How Bad Posture Gives You Neck Pain
When you have good posture, your head is balanced above your shoulders so it has the proper support it needs. When you have slumped posture, your head tilts forward and your neck has to support the full weight of your head. If you work at a computer for hours or spend a lot of time texting or reading your tablet while hunched over, you can end up with muscle strain that leads to neck pain.
Chronic bad posture and neck strain could even lead to problems with the discs in your neck, or they could lead to nerve compression. While the neck pain this causes is hard enough to endure, you might also experience headaches, backaches, and tingling in your hands from nerve compression problems.
Posture Improvements That May Help
If you stop the strain on your neck, your neck can heal so the pain goes away in several days or a few weeks. However, this requires you to improve your posture, which can be hard to do since bad posture is a habit. It's good to see a doctor or chiropractor when you have chronic neck pain. Even if you don't need medical treatments, a medical professional can help your posture so your neck can heal.
You may discuss things like how to sit, sleep, and work ergonomically so there is no strain on your neck. You may even want to set an hourly timer to remind you to improve your posture so you get in the habit of sitting or standing straight as this builds stronger muscles to help you maintain good posture.
Neck Pain Treatments Your Doctor Might Recommend
You don't want to ignore neck pain since chronic neck strain can affect your discs and joints in your neck. Your doctor might send you to a physical therapist for muscle balancing exercises. Poor posture causes the wrong muscles to overdevelop while the muscles that should be strong get weak instead. A physical therapist can teach stretching movements to relax and lengthen tight muscles and strengthening exercises to build up weak muscles.
Your doctor might manage your pain with anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants. You might also receive treatments from a chiropractor that help align your cervical spine. Chiropractic treatments can sometimes help with pain by taking pressure off a compressed nerve.
Poor posture is a bad habit to develop because it can be difficult to break. Plus, it can cause chronic neck pain that keeps you awake and makes you feel bad. Get help from a professional to learn how to improve your posture so you can avoid complications such as disc degeneration, arthritis, and nerve impingement that make your condition even worse.
To learn more about neck pain, contact a health clinic.