Did you know that according to estimates, low back pain affects about 29% of adults in the US, whereas neck pain affects about 15% of adults? Its causes can range from physical trauma to postural habits. Like other regions of the body, the neck needs regular exercise and relaxation.
If you are among the millions whose lives are affected by this kind of pain, then read on. Here, we take a look at the common causes of neck pain and what you can do to prevent getting more aches in that sensitive neck region.
Having poor posture often results in neck aches, shoulder blade pain, shoulder tension, and headaches. Sitting for long periods in an unnatural position can cause the neck to strain. This could mean sitting too low, too high, or hunching the shoulders.
Having an improper angle of the neck or leaning the head forward for prolonged periods can irritate and strain the neck. When sleeping, the neck can also be at risk for injury if it is placed in an uncomfortable position for long durations. By maintaining a healthy posture, one can reduce the risk of neck pain.
Some common injuries and activities that can lead to neck pain include car accident whiplash, sports injuries, falls, blunt trauma, and straining the neck muscles. A car accident can cause a wide range of neck pain, including whiplash, neck muscle strain, and soft tissue injury. Falls to the ground can cause neck strain as well as damage to soft tissue or even vertebral fractures.
Blunt trauma to the neck can lead to bruising or even vertebral fractures. Straining the neck muscles can cause muscle spasms and tension headaches that lead to neck pain.
Stress causes muscles in the neck to become tense, resulting in strained muscles and joints. Stress also causes increased levels of cortisol and inflammation, which can further contribute to neck pain. It is important to address stress as soon as it arises and take steps to tackle potential sources of tension to reduce painful symptoms.
Regular exercise and relaxation techniques such as yoga or mindfulness can help to reduce stress.
A poor diet can cause neck pain in both the short and long term. Calcium, magnesium, and other important vitamins and minerals are essential for muscle and joint health. Without adequate amounts, your joints and muscles may be unable to absorb the impact of everyday activities.
Eating too many processed and fatty foods can mean that we are carrying excess weight, which strains the neck muscles and joints. High levels of fat in our diets can also add to inflammation from injuries, making recovery difficult.
Eating whole and nutritious foods is important to maintain a healthy weight. They provide our muscles and joints with the nutrients they need and reduce inflammation.
Making healthier food choices can be key when looking for ways to reduce pain. Neck pain treatment will involve addressing the underlying cause as well as measures to treat the pain and reduce inflammation.
Avoid These Causes of Neck Pain
A wide variety of factors can cause neck pain. With proper posture, regular stretching and exercise, and an understanding of common causes of neck pain, these problems can be prevented. Seeking medical attention if symptoms last longer than a week can help diagnose and treat any painful issue.
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