One in ten Americans experience neck pain at any given moment. Symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. Regardless of the extent of your neck pain, it can definitely be an unwelcome distraction. Usually a temporary inconvenience, neck pain can sometimes be avoided altogether by putting an end to the bad habits that may be causing it. Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of expert surgeons discuss 3 habits that often lead to neck pain
1. Poor Posture
When it comes to the cervical spine (neck), a tendency to look downward is what often throws alignment out of whack. With the prevalence of mobile devices, it can be easy to get into the habit of looking down at your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. It may not seem like a big deal, but all those downward glances can strain your neck muscles and place added pressure on your joints and bones. Avoid overusing your neck muscles by:
- Holding mobile devices at eye level
- Taking breaks to lift your head and do neck stretches
- Using ergonomic desk and chair setups to ease neck strain
2. Sleeping on Your Stomach
In addition to contributing to poor circulation, stomach sleeping may also place your neck in awkward positions as you twist your head to one side or the other, which isn’t healthy for the seven bones in your neck. If you must sleep on your stomach, use either a thin pillow or no pillow at all to maintain alignment as much as possible.
Certain chemicals in nicotine may accelerate the age-related wear (degenerative disc disease) that sometimes affects the discs between your neck bones. Nicotine, in particular, constricts blood vessels and may slow down tissue healing and the natural regeneration process that produces new cells in discs. Fortunately, after you quit smoking, most of this damage is reversible.
Making an effort to break bad habits is a simple, cost-effective solution for most instances of neck pain. Should you experience discomfort in your neck or pain extending to your shoulders and arms, don’t ignore it. Home remedies or over-the-counter painkillers usually provide relief. If not, check with a board-certified physician to learn about options for Beverly Hills spine surgery.
If you are experiencing severe neck or back pain, reach out to The Spine Institute Center. Dr. Bae can diagnose the source of your pain and determine the most effective treatment, which may include the artificial disc replacement or extreme lateral interbody fusion Beverly Hills patients sometimes receive. Call 310-828-7757 today to learn more.