As a healthcare professional who treats neck and back pain every day, I find myself asking the same questions and repeating the same pieces of advice. Did you know that there are things you do at home or work that either create neck/back pain, or make it worse?
Most people who come in with neck/back pain were NOT in an accident, did NOT suffer any major trauma, and do NOT know what caused their pain. Maybe they noticed it one morning when waking up. Maybe it started over the past few weeks, months, or years, but they cannot recall a specific incident. What starts off as a little ache eventually becomes worse, more painful, and occurs more often. Does this sound familiar?
If the pain wasn't caused by a MAJOR event, like a car accident, sports injury, or fall, then what caused it? Major events cause a macro-trauma (macro meaning big, trauma meaning injury) to the muscles, nerves, discs, joints, etc. If there is no macro-trauma, then there must be multiple small MINOR events that create a micro-trauma. Most common causes of repeated micro-trauma all revolve around POOR POSTURE.
Crazy right? Your poor posture at home, at work, or in bed over a long period of time can actually lead to neck and back pain. I see examples of this...everyday. Here are 3 of the most common times your posture is creating your pain... and how you can FIX THIS!
1. At Work
Raise your hand if you sit at a desk or use your computer for a majority of the day. Staring at a computer monitor all day can cause neck pain if the monitor is not positioned properly.
Your monitor should be placed directly in front of you at eye-level. You should not have to turn your head or body to see your screen. You should also be looking straight ahead, so your neck is not tilted up or down to read the monitor.
More and more people are using laptops or tablets which require looking DOWN for prolonged periods.
When we look DOWN for prolonged periods
To prevent this...
2. At Home
You're tired after a long day at work so you get home, turn the tv on, and catch up on shows. Lying on the couch for a few hours may seem relaxing, but not if your neck or body are twisted like a pretzel.
Tips to prevent pain:
3. In Bed
Changing your sleeping position can be one of the hardest things to do. While sleeping on your back is the best position for your spine and highly recommended, it is not possible for everyone. Sleeping on your side or stomach tends to be very common, but it also puts more pressure on different areas of the body.
Tips for SIDE SLEEPERS:
If you live in or around the Jersey City area and have questions about your posture, feel free to email me or call our office. We get great results treating neck and back pain with chiropractic and acupuncture. It is SUPER important that you understand where your neck or back pain comes from. We teach our patients to not only get rid of pain but most importantly PREVENT IT.