Each year, a significant amount of people visit their doctor to discuss neck pain. Have you visited your physician for this reason? If so, what was his or her advice?
Complaints of neck pain often leads to this infamous question: “How firm is your mattress?” This is a valid question at times, but the true culprit of your neck pain may attack during daytime hours.
Your Seated Posture May Cause Neck Pain
For the purpose of this article we focus on the neck pain that comes from poor seated posture. Because we sit often and for long periods of time, soft tissues and joints in our necks become aggravated and stressed.
Before discussing ways to alleviate neck pain, let’s explore how poor seated posture may cause such a problem.
The Problem with Poor Posture
It can be said that your neck is one of your most important body parts. According to an article on spine-health.com, “…the neck is subject to the curvature of the spine below and the position of the head above.” Because of its positioning, neck pain may cause (or be provoked by) back pain. It can also lead to headaches.
Unfortunately, neck pain is too frequent for most of us because of our poor posture. Here are some common reasons we experience neck pain:
- We unknowingly sit with our head forward, in front of our shoulders.
- You may have a tendency to lean your head to one side, which may agitate soft tissues and stiffen neck joints.
- Many of us have jobs that require us to look down for extended periods of time. Whether looking at a computer keyboard or something else, this can “cause lower cervical vertebrae to shear forward.”
The causes of neck pain may result in a wide range of pains, from concentrated aches to full body debilitation. Complaints of limited range of motion, tenderness and diagnoses such as cervical degenerative disc disease, cervical herniated disc, and cervical osteoarthritis have begun with feelings of neck pain.
Prehabilitation for Better Posture, Less Neck Pain
Many people who struggle with chronic neck pain are able to find relief via physiotherapy. However, physiotherapy may also be the answer for those who want to stop neck pain before it develops into a serious diagnosis.
In addition to helping people rehabilitate, physiotherapists also help people prehabilitate. Prehabilitation may allow you to prevent injuries from occurring by growing your awareness of habits and tendencies that cause them. One of the areas physiotherapists check when conducting prehabilitation screenings is posture.
Beyond growing awareness of poor habits, physiotherapists may equip you with tools you need to conduct yourself in a healthy manner. If neck pain is your problem, a physiotherapist may offer you techniques for sitting properly.
In fact, in an online article that asked physiotherapist Andrew Zang about the “Posture Behind Some Neck Pain,” he offered tips that can help you have good seated posture.
- “For those who work on computers for large portions of the day, check your set-up. The monitor should be straight ahead and keyboard in a position that allows arms to be relaxed.”
- “Get up and change positions regularly – at least once an hour.”
- “… Visit your [physiotherapist] who can troubleshoot your specific issue and tailor a program individualized to you because all patients with postural related problems are not the same.”
These tips sound manageable, yes?
The next time your neck pain feels unmanageable, check your seated posture. Could it be the culprit?