Why Do I have a Stiff Neck?
Stiff necks are all too common nowadays. While many of us don’t experience neck pain from traumatic events, many develop neck pain from a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, and a host of other factors. Even if your job requires seemingly little physical strain, poor neck posture can compound over time to lead to more debilitating neck issues. Outside of the office, lifestyle plays a significant role in how our necks function. Morreale Chiropractic offers a number of treatment techniques to improve your neck’s functionality and flow, there are steps you can take before and after receiving chiropractic services. Read more to learn how to identify and begin treating your stiff neck today.
Precursors & Early Warning Signs of a Stiff Neck
The world moves increasingly faster every day. To keep up, our cell phones, tablets, and other handheld devices keep us connected with the world at its breakneck pace. However, these integral devices have the potential to wreak havoc on our necks. “Text Neck,” which is the overuse and strain of the head, neck, and shoulders brought about by prolonged downward staring at handheld devices or a computer, is becoming an epidemic, according to research published by the National Library of Medicine. Practicing poor posture when texting by leaning the head forward at sharp angles causes excess neck muscle, tendon, and ligament strain. Yet perhaps more worrisome is the compounding of weight and angle on the neck, shoulders, and spine. If an average head weighs 10-12 pounds, a normal-functioning neck is accustomed to bearing this weight. However, if the same neck is bent forward just 15 degrees, the angle spikes the weight to 27 pounds of pressure. Bend the neck at 30 degrees, and the weight jumps to 40 pounds of pressure, according to Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD. Think you could be one of many in the Pittsburgh and North Hills areas who experience text neck? Read on for some helpful tips to stave off text neck and its bothersome symptoms.
Tips for Taming “Text Neck”
It may be difficult (or nearly impossible) to reduce our time spent on devices that place strain on our neck, shoulders, and spine. However, there are steps to take to reduce or avoid the worst text neck has to offer:
- Keep your head and phone as close to eye-level as possible. This keeps the neck straight and reduces strain.
- A brief digital detox is never a bad idea. Can’t break from the screen(s)? Adjust your desk and chair to give your neck and spine some pressure changes. Want to really change it up? Try lying on your back and sending the next round of texts or emails.
- Stretch! Occasionally arching your neck and upper back can help reduce strain on muscle and increase flexibility.
Vexed by “Text Neck”? Give us a Call!
“Text neck” is but one of dozens of neck and spinal conditions and concerns. If you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, or worry you could be developing text neck, give Morreale Chiropractic a call today and set up your free consultation and 15-minute massage!