Neck pain is fairly common, it can be caused by a number of different factors. Your neck is responsible for supporting the weight of your head meaning that it is vulnerable to injuries or conditions that can cause neck pain. It could be from a bad posture or it could be from sitting at a computer all day. As many of us are now working from home, you have started to notice some neck pain. So, here are some reasons and things that you can do to help.
Worn-out joint – just like the other joints in our body, our neck joint goes through ‘wear and tear’ as we get older. Conditions such as osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage to break down.
Nerve compression – if you have a herniated disk, then this can put pressure on the nerves and therefore result in pain.
Strained muscle – if you have been sitting over a computer for hours then this can cause the muscle to be strained. Activities like reading a book in bed or looking at your phone for too long can also cause this kind of pain.
Neck injury – if you have been in a car accident or sports accident then you may suffer some neck pain.
Most neck pain is caused by a combination of wear and tear and bad posture. Some simple changes may help to reduce the discomfort that you are experiencing.
Have a good posture – keep your head in the centre of your spine. It is important that you focus on having a good posture when you are standing and sitting.
Take regular breaks - if you are doing the same thing for a long time, make sure you take breaks and stretch out your neck
Make sure that your desk setup is correctly – you should aim to have your computer screen at eye level, feet flat on the ground and arms straight out in front of you and use a head set on the phone – avoid tucking your phone between your ear and should when you are on the phone as this strains your neck muscles.
Quit smoking - smoking puts you at a higher risk of developing neck pain.
Avoid heavy shoulder bags – this can under balance your shoulders and lead to neck pain
Ensure that you are sleeping in a good position – your neck should be in line with your body when you sleep. Try to sleep with on your back with only one pillow. It can also help to sleep with your legs slightly elevated as this help to relax your back and neck muscles.
It is likely that your neck pain will go away with home treatments and slight lifestyle changes. However, you should seek medical advice if:
The pain if spreading down your arms or legs
The pain is severe and has not improved after several days
The pain is causing headaches, numbness or tingling
You have been in a road traffic accident or sports collisio