Millions of people suffer from neck pain at any given time, while some recover within a few weeks or months, others suffer from chronic symptoms that can persist indefinitely. Taking steps to reduce neck pain can help you avoid those symptoms — and that begins with knowing the risk factors for neck problems.
As a leading chiropractic practice in Kissimmee and the Lake Nona area of Orlando, Florida, Kerinver Chiropractic offers patient-centered, holistic therapies for neck pain, helping patients of all ages relieve symptoms and restore normal function. In this post, our team reviews three factors that could increase your risk of developing painful neck symptoms.
Computers and smartphones have added a new dimension to our lives. Unfortunately, spending hours hunched over a laptop or phone has also resulted in a lot more neck pain. Neck pain associated with laptops and cellphones is so prevalent that it even has a nickname: tech neck.
When we tilt forward over our phones and keyboards, the weight of the head shifts, too. The result: Your neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments are subjected to a lot more strain, and over time, that leads to chronic discomfort and stiffness.
At the same time, hunching forward causes your shoulders to “round over,” leading to additional strain on your upper back. Over time, the added strain pulls your spine out of alignment, leading to problems with your muscles, discs, and nerves.
It’s normal to feel occasional stress from life events: Starting a new job, dealing with responsibilities at work or school, and relationship issues are all common causes of stress. Typically, this type of stress gets resolved once you deal with the underlying cause.
But today, many people are experiencing stress regularly, with symptoms that spill over into their overall health and wellness. Politics, environmental concerns, the economy — the news is filled with many reasons to feel stressed out.
It’s tempting to think stress is solely an emotional issue, but the fact is, it can take a toll on your physical wellness, too, including a direct impact on your neck. That’s because when we’re stressed out, our muscles naturally tense up. A lot of that muscle tension centers on your neck and shoulders. Over time, that leads to chronic discomfort, muscle knots, and radiating nerve pain.
As the most flexible part of your spine, your neck has a lot of stress and strain placed on it over the years. Not only does your neck need to bend, turn, twist, and flex in multiple directions, but it also supports your head — all 10-12 pounds of it (on average). Compound those strains over decades, and it’s easy to see how age factors in neck pain.
In addition to normal wear and tear on your neck bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, age also ushers in degenerative conditions like arthritis and bone spurs (bony projections that form on the edges of bones). These problems compress nerves and irritate surrounding soft tissues, causing chronic pain that can keep you up at night.
At the same time, the spongy discs between your vertebrae start to degrade, becoming thinner and more prone to herniation. Other conditions, like spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), also become more common, increasing your risk of chronic pain.
Finally, older age takes a toll on your muscles, too. As you lose muscle mass, your neck muscles can lose some of their strength, leading to more problems with posture and additional strain on your neck and shoulders.
Chiropractors are skilled in multiple techniques for relieving neck pain and strain. Our team begins each patient’s therapy with a comprehensive exam and a review of your symptoms and lifestyle factors so we can customize your treatment and optimize your results.
Depending on your needs, we may recommend soft tissue manipulation or spinal adjustment to realign your spine and relieve nerve impingements. Massage improves circulation and relaxes stiff muscle knots, promoting healing while reducing inflammation and irritation.
Plus, our team helps you make changes in your workplace or home environment for faster relief and healing and to prevent problems in the future. We can also help you learn simple techniques like neck stretches and changes in your activities focused on strengthening your neck and improving its flexibility.
Don’t let chronic or recurrent neck pain take a toll on your health and life. We can help. To learn more, request an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Kerinver Chiropractic today.