Can bad posture cause neck pain? If you are reading this article, then this must be the question you have been asking yourself. This is a comprehensive article that will answer all your questions and give all the information you need. Let us get right into it, shall we?
Bad posture is the posture that results from certain muscles that tighten or shorten while others lengthen and weaken, which often occurs as a result of daily activities. There are different factors that can affect posture and include professional activities and biomechanical factors such as strength and repetition. Risk factors for poor posture also include psychosocial factors such as stress and tension at work. Workers who are more stressed at work are more likely to develop neck and shoulder symptoms.
Can Bad Posture Cause Neck Pain?
Bad posture is often an underlying problem in most cases of neck pain. In such cases, acknowledging and understanding bad posture can play a vital role in finding neck pain relief.
Poor posture is the cause for many of the neck pain. This is because, slouching causes pressure to build in the neck muscles and head. As it turns out, all those times people told you “stand up straight” or “don’t slouch,” they weren’t being a pain in the neck, it was actually your poor posture.
Forward head posture is one common problem today because for each inch your neck bends forward over the neutral position you are creating an extra 10 lbs. of weight on your neck.
Good posture, as it relates to the neck, is commonly considered when the ears are positioned directly above the shoulders with the chest open and shoulders back. In this neutral position, also called normal head posture, stress on the neck is minimized because the head’s weight is naturally balanced on the cervical spine.
Bad Posture and Neck Pain
We have earlier stated that bad posture and neck pain are closely related, they are like a couple. Let us take a look at some of the symptoms of neck pain.
Symptoms of neck pain
The neck muscles feel sore and may have hard knots called trigger points, that are tender to touch. This often causes pain to be felt up the middle of the back of the neck. Also, it may ache on one side only.
Spasms occur in the muscles. It is a sudden, painful, involuntary contraction of muscles. This makes the muscles feel painful, stiff and knotted. When you experience a neck muscle spasms, you may loose the ability to move your neck. You may hear some people call it ‘a crick in the neck,’ and doctors or physiotherapists may call it wry neck or acute torticollis.
The pain felt from the neck can radiate down the arms sometimes. You could also feel it down your legs too. You may feel tingling in your arms, which can be accompanied by burning, numbness or weakness.
It is a difficulty you experience when you try moving the neck, especially when trying to turn the head from side to side.
The neck muscles get tight and if you stay too long in one position they feel even tighter. Neck stiffness can make it really difficult or painful to move your neck.
Headaches often accompany neck problems. It is usually a dull aching type of headache, rather than sharp aching. Although the headaches are often felt at the rear of the head, the pain may also get to the sides and even the front of the head.
This discomfort is typically felt in a broader area or region of the neck. It is described as a mild ache, not sharp.
Trouble with gripping or lifting objects.
This problem happens when numbness or weakness goes into the arm or fingers.
This pain can reach along a nerve from the neck into the shoulder and arm. The level of pain can vary and this nerve pain might feel like it is burning or searing.
There are neurological deficits, such as problems with reflexes, sensation, or strength are likely to be experienced in the arm because of nerve root compression. Cervical radiculopathy may also be accompanied by radicular pain.
Increased stress on the cervical spine.
When the head is held forward in poor posture, the cervical spine must be such that it supports increasing amounts of weight. There is a rule of thumb, that is: for every inch that the head is held forward in poor posture, an additional 10 pounds of weight is likely to be felt on the cervical spine.
This means that the average head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds. This is as a result of just 1 or 2 inches of forward head posture. It can double or triple the load the cervical spine supports.
This happens when some muscles in the neck and upper back have to continually overwork. These muscles overwork to counterbalance the pull of gravity on the forward head. This makes the muscles to become susceptible to painful strains and spasms.
Hunched upper back.
A forward head posture is often accompanied and characterized by a forward shoulder and a rounded upper back. This sort of posture can lead to more pain in the neck, upper back, and/or shoulders.
When this posture is held for a long time, that is being hunched over a computer or slouching on the couch, pain in the neck, stiffness and other symptoms are likely to develop.
Correct Postures For Neck Pain
There are certain postures that affect the neck and bring about pain. These postures are often postures we get into while using a cellphone, a laptop at work (or anywhere else), sleeping, amongst other postures.
Now, let us take a look at certain postures that affect the neck, and how to correct them.
Let’s start from the unknown to the known:
This deals with all the postures that have half your body go 90 degrees. Your driving posture falls into this category.
Let’s take a deeper look at a correct sitting posture.
You should sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Also, allow your buttocks to touch the back of your chair.
If you’re seated and using your phone, laptop or watching TV, ensure that your eyes are in control, and not your neck. What this means is that you should seat in such a way that your eyes are level with the screen of your phone or TV.
As much as you can, avoid stretching or hanging your neck.
Whichever sitting posture you choose to use, ensure that your neck isn’t hanging. Furthermore, sitting in such a way you do not have to keep your neck in uncomfortable angles.
With the right sitting postures properly applied, bad posture and neck pain will cease.
- Ensure you adjust the seat to be comfortable enough for you
- Move the seat close to the steering wheel so as to support the curve of your back. The seat should be close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals.
- Avoid hanging out your head forward too much.
- Try not to stretch your neck in an attempt to see the ground just in front of the bumper; you can’t!
There are different sleeping postures. several sleeping postures that are really good for you and your health generally. However, for the sake of neck pains:
1. On Your Back
This is not the most popular position. About eight percent of people sleep on their backs. By far, this sleeping posture is the healthiest option for most people. It allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position.
This means that there’s no extra pressure is exerted on those areas. This means you’re less likely to experience pain. When sleeping in this posture, ensure your neck is not turned to the left or the right to avoid experiencing any sort of pain.
2. On Your Side
This position also helps decrease acid reflux, and since your spine is elongated. It also wards off back and neck pain. However, ensure you have a pillow by your head. This keeps your head in position with your spine (avoiding it from bending towards your shoulders).
3. In the Fetal Position
About 41 percent of adults choose this sleeping posture. It is the most popular sleeping posture. A loose, fetal position on the sides of your body. This sleeping posture exerts little or no pressure on your neck. This posture is good for your neck health.
4. On Your Stomach
This sleeping posture often does no good to the neck. The spine isn’t neutral placed or balanced. Also, your neck cannot be neutrally placed, as you would have to turn either left or right. This leaves the neck in pain afterward.
It is a good thing to have a strong back that doesn’t allow you to feel pain. This also extends to your neck. Be conscious of your standing posture. Anytime you remember you’re not standing properly, stand up straight
time you remembered it. Maintaining good posture is not a big task to achieve, but keeps all of your joints and bones aligned, reducing stress on muscles and ligaments. So try to keep your weight on the balls of your feet, your knees slightly bent, and feet positioned about shoulder-width apart and your arms should hang naturally at your sides.
If you are having neck pain, I recommend the EPABO Contour memory foam Pillow Orthopedic Sleeping Pillows, Ergonomic Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain – for Side Sleepers, Back and Stomach Sleepers. It comes with a free pillow inside. It will definitely help you in relieving your neck pain. Click on this link to buy.
I also recommend the RESTECK- Massagers for Neck and Back with Heat. This will help relieve muscle soreness and acute pain, You will also enjoy deep massage even if you are on the go. It also controls heat and stimulation to your needs. It is quite affordable. Click on this link to get it.
Conclusion And Recommendation
Poor posture is one of the many causes of neck pain. This means you should be intentional in observing your sitting, standing, lying and even lifting postures. Correct your poor posture to prevent the development of neck pain.
Having a poor posture is dangerous to your body. It does not only cause neck pain but can lead to other conditions like lower back pain, mid back pain, muscle spasm, and chest pain. Poor posture can also cause dizziness, fatigue and reduce movement efficiency.
Engage in exercises that increase the heart rate. Any exercise that increases the heart rate for a prolonged period benefits the body. To have a healthy spine and maintain a range of flexibility and motion, it is necessary to be involved in regular physical activity. When vertebral structures remain unused for too long, stiffness and discomfort may get worse.
Self-management treatments generally do not require medical advice. However, you should be cautious and careful. Any type of medication has risks and possible side effects. If a patient does not know what kind of self-care would work best, it is advisable to talk to a doctor.
Knowing and applying these right sleeping postures keep away neck pains.