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Neck Pain: Causes and Effects

Neck pain – sometimes including headache, shoulder pain, back pain or jaw pain – is an all too frequent occurrence. And while waking up with a stiff neck may be common, it’s definitely not normal. There are a variety of things that can be the cause of neck pain – and there’s even something you can do, safely and naturally, to relieve it. Read more to learn how.

Life Can Be a Pain in the Neck

Going about our everyday lives can contribute to neck pain. In fact, the primary neck pain cause is stress. Even if you think you lead a low-stress, relaxed life, there are environmental stressors that affect us all. And even the most relaxed among us still falls prey to worry, sadness or fear from time to time. The three types of stress and some of examples of each are:

  • Chemical stress (pollutants, chemical additives and preservatives in food, tobacco, alcohol, pollen, drugs)
  • Emotional stress (worry about the economy, job anxiety, fear, grief, arguments, problems with kids)
  • Physical stress (poor posture, unhealthy sleep position, repetitive motions, over-exertion)

Cause of neck pain imageChemical stress affects your overall health, including muscle tone and nerve function. Emotional stress often causes people to clench their muscles (typically shoulder and neck muscles) and settles in areas of the body that are already overworked, like the neck. Physical stress like hunkering down over your desk or sleeping on your stomach can hold the neck in unnatural and twisted positions.

Structural Causes of Neck Pain

The neck has a lot of work to do, carrying around your head all day, every day – it’s like balancing a 12-pound bowling ball on your fingertips.

There are seven bones in your neck, along with discs, tendons, muscles and nerves, and even a slight disturbance in the natural alignment can cause neck pain. When stress affects the body, the neck muscles often tighten, putting additional stress on the delicate structures, which can then interfere with nerve conduction. The result? Neck pain. But even if you can’t eliminate all the stress from your life, you can still do something about that pain in the neck!

A Natural Method of Healing Neck Pain

Neck pain causes relieved image

Pain relievers offer temporary relief of neck pain, but they also carry risks of side effects and they don’t do anything to correct the underlying cause of the pain. Chiropractic is different: safe and 100% natural with no side effects, chiropractic targets the underlying cause of your neck pain to restore proper alignment and allow your body to heal itself.

Since chiropractic is the world’s most-utilized alternative health care option, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the great results chiropractic gets with neck pain. Naturally, all patients are different and no guarantees can be made with regard to a particular outcome, but many patients find complete neck pain relief with chiropractic.

Why not join them? It’s never been easier; simply contact a local chiropractor to make an appointment, then get ready to say goodbye to neck pain! After asking you a number of questions and determining if chiropractic is right for you, your doctor will examine you thoroughly and then take the time to explain what he or she found. Feel free to ask any questions. Then your doctor will deliver the chiropractic adjustments necessary to precisely correct any deviations in your body’s alignment. With your alignment balanced, pressure on the nerves is reduced or eliminated and the body can get back to its normal, healthy functioning.

You can feel comfortable with chiropractic, which has strict licensing and oversight regulations in all fifty states. Chiropractors are highly educated health care professionals, and chiropractic is a covered health care option under most insurance plans.

Call a chiropractor, the sooner the better! All you have to lose is that annoying pain in your neck.

Give Yourself a Break

You may be managing your emotional stress just fine, and maybe you’ve even eliminated most of the chemical stressors from your environment. But have you looked at your physical stress?

Relieving Physical Stress
Computers Should be at eye level, with your chair adjusted so that your hips are slightly higher than your knees and your feet flat on the floor.
Telephones Should not be cradled between your ear and shoulder, forcing your neck into an awkward position. If you use the telephone a lot, opt for a headset.
Sitting When you sit at your desk or behind the wheel, keep your head aligned over your spine. It’s common to hunch forward towards your monitor or grip the steering wheel tightly while pulling your head forward, both of which tense the neck muscles. Get up and stretch often, shrug your shoulders up and down and shake out the tension in your arms and neck. And your mother was right – you shouldn’t slouch when you read or watch TV!
Sleeping On your side or back is best, with a pillow to support your neck. Sleeping on the stomach is the worst position, as it strains the neck in a twisted position.
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