Neck pain is an issue that some people deal with on a daily basis. Many times a neck issue can be aggravated by bad habits you have got into over the years.
There are many different reasons as to why a person may have neck pain. Common causes are degenerative disc disease, a protruding disc, weak neck muscles, whiplash from a car accident, poor posture, lack of sleep, poor habits and stress can aggravate a neck issue.
Many people do not realise that neck pain rarely happens overnight. No matter what the original cause of your neck pain is.
The following are suggestions to decrease you aggravating your neck:
- Working at a computer: The computer or your chair is not at the correct height. Phone books are great for raising the computer screen up, so that you are actually looking straight at the screen, not down at the screen. A keyboard wrist support can also help. Stand up if possible every thirty minutes, even just to walk across the room.
- If you use a laptop, prop it up on a pillow so that it is at a 45 degree angle. Most people sit with the head down looking at their laptop which will aggravate your neck.
- Never talk on the phone with your phone cradled between your ear and shoulder. Do not be afraid of new technology; ask one of your children, grandchildren or an employee in the phone shop how to use the speaker function on your phone or a hands free ear piece.
- You should only be using one pillow under your neck. The pillow should cradle your neck so that if someone took a photo of you from a side angle, you neck would be aligned with your body.
- Use a trolley when food shopping. Instead of carrying a basket in one arm which is awkward and can put a strain on the neck muscles, on the side you are carrying it in.
- Do not lift or try to move heavy furniture. If something heavy needs to be moved, get help. Pride is one of the reasons why people do not ask for help. Put your pride aside and do not risk hurting yourself.
- Make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep is known to increase musculoskeletalpain.
- Have your neck assessed and look for instructions about postural exercises. If you have a hump on your back, you cannot force your shoulders back.
Neck pain with other symptoms:
If you have neck pain with any of the following symptoms, you need to be investigated:
- Pain radiating down your arm
- Weakness in either arm
- Numbness in either arm (or leg)
If you are going to be assessed, make sure you see someone who deals with patients with bone loss and who can interpret your DXA scan results.
If you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact the Irish Osteoporosis Society at 01 637 5050