Neck pain is really annoying, and it’s unlikely to go away without figuring out what’s causing it and then changing your habits to stop putting stress on it. Here are four reasons for your ever present neck pain, two which you might guess, and two which might surprise you.
Your Cell Phone
If you’re looking down at your cell phone all day you are going to be bending the neck forward at an unnatural curve to do so. It’s not like we were built to stare at our hands all day or something. Hold your phone up a little closer to eye level when you can manage it, or just try to cut down on unnecessary time you’re spending scrolling around when nothing is actually going on. Keep your head on straight and look out at the world every once in awhile.
You Drink Too Much
If you drink a lot of alcohol you are going to be messing with your sleeping habits. Hitting the sack intoxicated means that you are not going to be changing positions in the night as much as you would if you were sleeping without booze in your blood. What that means is that if you end up in an awkward position you are more likely to stay there longer, which increases your odds of waking up feeling stiff.
You also want to assess your bed to make sure that you’re giving yourself the chance to sleep comfortably. Your pillows should not be so soft that you don’t provide you support, and you should not be stacking multiple pillows and attempting to rest your head on that. The slope is too severe, and it is going to end up hurting your neck.
If you smoke cigarettes you already know many of the health risks you’re up against, but here’s another one. Smoking actually dehydrates the disks that are in your spine, which can up the chances of slipping a disk, as well as just causing pressure in the neck and back. Smoking also hardens and constricts blood vessels in the body, which means that less oxygen will have the chance to get to your spine and keep things stress free.
Your Desk Chair
If you sit at a desk chair everyday at work, this can be a huge issue. When chairs are not made to be ergonomic you end up slouching forward toward the desk and keeping your spine in the wrong position. A good desk chair should offer lumbar support that keeps the back in its natural “S” curve shape, and also have arm rests so that you don’t have to rely on the desk for your arm support. If your company does not have sufficient chairs, you might run it by HR to see if they can hook you up with something a little more body friendly. No matter what kind of chair you’re sitting in, schedule breaks every half hour to an hour at max to stand up and stretch, as well as take a walk or two somewhere in the day. This will help oxygenate the body, which will decrease your muscle pain and tightness.