Neck and shoulder pain is a problem that plagues many Americans. It is very common and can be attributed to everyday causes that you may think are completely innocent. Here are 5 possible causes of your nagging neck and shoulder pain:
Sleeping wrong can cause a lot of pain, making you not even want to move your neck. If you sleep wrong, you may experience something called torticollis. Sleeping with the head at a weird angle, such as while sitting up or with your head on a couch armrest, could cause stiffness. It may make the neck and shoulders hurt, but normally isn't dangerous (even if moving your neck feels like it will fall off). Rest and stretch for a few days or ask your doctor about possibly physical therapy exercises to help loosen things up.
Reaching overhead to do things such as dusting or cleaning gutters causes your head to lean backward for long periods of time. This can put extra strain on your neck and shoulder muscles, leading to stiffness and pain. Make sure you take breaks, change positions, and stretch and rotate your neck.
3. Playing With Kids
Whether you're a mom or dad, aunt or uncle, grandma or grandpa, playing with children is fun! It's not fair that something so fun can cause unnecessary pain. Instead of bending and lifting with the back, which could cause undue stress on your body, always meet the kids at their level by bending your knees and picking them up closer to you. This will eliminate the extra force a kid jumping into your arms causes.
4. Hunching Over a Computer
Unless you have a very active job, you probably spend your days hunched over a computer, putting stress on your neck and back. Even with the help of expensive “corrective” ergonomic chairs, people who work all day often still slump since computers are often positioned lower than eye level. If you notice neck and shoulder pain after working long hours, you'll want to start taking walking (or at least standing) breaks and move your computer to a higher elevation so you don't need to stoop as much and crunch those muscles.
5. Carrying a Shoulder Bag
Shoulder bags pull you down on one side, forcing your neck and back to work harder to maintain balance and keep everything aligned. You stress those muscles whenever you use your shoulder bag, especially when it's full of documents and a computer. To avoid asymmetrical loading that overworks your neck and back muscles, invest in a sturdy (and just as fashionable) backpack.
Neck and shoulder pain is something that no one wants to deal with, so knowing that there are some quick fixes you can make to your everyday lifestyle that bring relief should be music to your ears! If your neck and shoulder pain is consistent and makes your day-to-day life difficult, contact the experts at MMI. Our team is practiced at helping relieve aches and pains caused by everyday life. Schedule your first appointment today!