COMMON CAUSES OF NECK PAIN

Gabriel Ng

 

 

“Pain in the neck…” as the saying goes, indeed neck pain is not a toying matter and is relatively common but do you know how heavy is our head?

Yes, it is approximately 4.5kg to 5.5kg which 7 cervical vertebra is up holding the gravitational head weight and with about 20 different neck muscle to support the movement of our neck.

Neck pain is very disruptive to our quality of living, some of the common neck pain related symptoms are:

  • Stiffness & Strain tension
  • Headache & migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in our arm and fingers
  • Pulling shoulder muscle tension
  • Whiplash (commonly associated with car accident )

Unfortunately, most of these neck pain symptoms are very much associated with our daily postures.  Other severity of chronic neck pain maybe due to wear and tear (osteoarthritis), degeneration of vertebrae disc, stenosis of cervical canal, abnormal curvature of neck spine, and cervical disc protrusion(traumatized, accident or injury).

Neck pain, as a result of Front Head Posture Syndrome (FHPS) is very much associated to our neck not well aligned with the shoulder.  Most prevalence FHPS neck pain commonly is aggravated due to the computer work station or laptop, most of them have the tendency to stick the head far away from the shoulder.  The stress and tension of FHPS on the neck accumulated over prolonged period, exacerbated into severe neck pain, migraine, headache, fatigue, radiating pain down to the shoulder & arm, shoulder blade pain etc.

Studies have shown another common neck pain is the excessive use of mobile phone. Text neck or drop Neck(DN)is another poor posture related to neck pain over prolonged period of neck dropping below shoulder when using the mobile phone and progressively resulted in severe weakening of neck muscle.  DN can trigger early neck symptom of deformation of cervical and thoracic spine on the C6/C7 to T1 & T2.  Due to the progressive weakening of extensor neck muscle, typical symptoms are shoulder tension & pain, inability to up hold the neck up right, migraine, headache etc.

Cultivate a good mobile phone usage habit can prevent many health and physical pain effect, holding the phone upright and hold the neck up while using the phone and be mindful of the posture from time to time can prevent unnecessary accumulated traumatized neck pain condition.

We spend one third of our life time sleeping and inadequate or poor pillow support on the neck can simply aggravate the quality of sleep.  Have you experience neck stiffness and shoulder tension when woke up in the morning?.  Having the right height pillow supporting the neck muscle is significant for neck pain prevention.

Everyone has a sleeping posture habit, the ideal sleeping posture to prevent chronic neck pain is to sleep on the back (supine position).  The upper shoulder and neck should be resting well and supported by the pillow with the relevant ideal height and firmness.

There is no one size pillow that fits all, it is a myth that contour pillow is the best and ideal type of neck support pillow.  Having the right height and size to support the neck are pretty much determine by the size of your physique.  Sleep on your back and when the head & neck is well supported by the right size and height of the pillow, your feet or toes will be visible when you look down.

If you don’t see your toes your pillow is too low or pillow is too soft to firmly support the neck. When you sees the full size of your feet, it indicated that the pillow is too high up and this posture can aggravate neck that is overly flex which can cause neck extensor muscle weakness progressively.

A neutral cervical spine at rest is less stressful on the neck and less tension on the shoulder while sleeping.

Avoid poor neck posture during the day and incorporate a daily stretches and strengthening exercises whenever is needed. Be mindful with the daily activities of neck posture and making sure the neck is rest well on the shoulder, also making sure the earlobe on the side is align down to the shoulder.

Front head postures syndrome over prolonged period not only weakened the neck muscle, it also can trigger excruciating cervical prolapse disc pain.

Neck pain is disruptive to quality of living and detrimental to our physical health hence, starts exercising good posture at work support your neck well while sleeping and exercises daily neck stretches to balance neck muscle.

 

 

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