Neck pain is a very common complaint. It does not have to be linked to a condition or injury. Neck muscles may be strained because of poor posture whether it is from leaning over the office desk to work on the laptop or hunching over while studying. Stiffness usually happens when the neck muscles are under strain from overuse or stretching. This may cause mild to severe neck pain which in turn makes it hard to move the head about. Rarely, neck pain is related to serious issues. One should seek medical attention should the pain in the neck be linked to loss of strength in the arms or numbness. That should answer the question of whether a stiff neck can be serious.
The neck is flexible and should be able to support the head to it is also vulnerable to impairment making it hard to move. Some of the main causes of neck pain that lead to a stiff neck include:
The neck joints are as susceptible to wear as age continues. Osteoarthritis is one of the main culprits here because it causes the cartilage between the bones to deteriorate. The body tends to form spurs affecting the joint motion leading to a lot of pain.
The overuse of the muscles by hunching over the computer or the smartphone may lead to triggering of the muscle strains. There are minor causes of these strains such as reading in bed regularly at bad angles or even gritting one's teeth all the time.
Bone spurs or disks which are herniated in the neck vertebrae may lean on the nerves which branch out from the spinal cord and cause long term damage.
Particular ailments target the joints like arthritis which makes it hard to turn and cause severe pain. Meningitis and certain cancers may lead to inflammation and deterioration around the neck.
Ways to Prevent Stiff Neck
Most of the causes of neck pain are physical or external which means they can be corrected. Should the pain be associated with internal issues like disease then a surgical or medicinal solution is required. The following are a few suggestions in the daily routine which will assist with a stiff neck.
- Adjusting the positions of the chair and computer- The best way to work is such that the monitor is at eye level. The knees should be kept at a level which is lower than the hips as well and the chair’s armrests should be utilized properly.
- Check the sleep environment: There are times when the mattress does not have the right amount of support and may lead to neck pain. Pillows which are the wrong size also lead to a stiff neck. The head, neck and the back are aligned during sleep.
- Avoid carrying heavy objects over the shoulder: the weight can strain the neck.
- Engage in activities which relieve stress levels: listening to music or taking baths can be a good way of reducing neck pain or muscle tension.
If you’re ready to have a professional handle your stiff or sore neck, contact us today for a consultation or to set up a massage appointment.