Neck and headache

Neck pain

I thought it would be a good idea to write about how to prevent neck pain as it is a really common problem nowadays, given that we spend many hours in front of the computer which is really bad for our necks.

Our neck wasn´t designed to stay still for long, it was designed to be moved letting us look around. If we compare our neck and eyes with a person taking pictures, the neck would be the person and the eyes would be the camera. If the person doesn´t move, the camera doesn’t do its job or, at least, not properly. Neck problems are quite common among office workers, hairdressers, waiters, doormen and so on.

As I wrote in a previous post, the first step to prevent neck pain is to be aware of what we do in our daily life to be able to avoid the problem.

You should stand up in front of a mirror and look at your neck and shoulders and you might notice that your shoulders are quite high and your head is trying to hide between them. It is as if you were shrugging continuously. This is the first sign of neck tension.

Now, you need to look for the “why”. You should ask yourself, “why is my neck getting tense? What am I doing wrong? I don´t do now anything different from what I have been doing for the last few years”. Well, that is probably true, but injuries are like that, you feel great until you don´t feel great any more. The explanation is that you have been adopting bad posture for years and the problem presents itself out of the blue.

I am going to write about the most common mistakes you make, in general, and in future posts I will explain them in more detail, as well as the best way to resolve them.

Neck pain at the computerAt the office your posture is not right, your back is not straight, you adopt a head-forward posture (turtlelike), your shoulders are forward as well, your computer screen is either too high or too low, your chair is not correct ( it is not adjustable and it hasn´t got a lower back support). Another important aspect is the spot your desk is placed in your office: air conditioning facing you directly, air streams passing through…; as cold air might be a risk factor for neck injury. More about this in the post  “Good posture at the computer”

Another place where you spend a lot of time of your life is your bed, so you should have good posture when you sleep to prevent neck problems. Usual issues are a flat pillow which doesn´t keep your neck straight, sleeping on your stomach which might make your neck adopt odd positions, not having a good mattress, and so on.

You might be thinking: “what about the always mentioned stress?” Well, undoubtedly, an annoying boss or a really demanding job are going to cause you neck problems, as your muscles will get tense and your blood flow will decrease in that area. A bit of relaxation will help you a lot.

“Would you like to add anything else to this post?” Feel free to leave a comment.

Interesting fact
Two out of three of us will have neck pain at some time in our lives. In most cases it is not due to a serious disease or neck problem and often the exact cause for the pain is not clear. This is called ‘nonspecific neck pain’.
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2 Responses to Neck pain prevention: overview

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