For people who struggle with neck pain on a daily basis, enjoying the simple things in life can become a real challenge.
Office workers, athletes and people who have physical jobs, neck pain is something that can come on gradually over time and flare up from time to time.
One day you are fine and then the next you wake unable to turn your head due to a nagging pain.
For the neck pain sufferer, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly why it has come on AND why it keeps coming back.
A lot of people ask me: "why has my neck pain gone away?"
In this blog post I am going to share with you 3 things that may be stopping you from fully recovering from your neck pain and that could be a part of why your neck pain is their in the first place.
Sitting for too long
When you are sitting at work or if you are driving or if you are relaxing at home, the length of time you spend sitting will have a direct impact on the health of your neck.
Even if you keep fit, have an amazing ergonomic chair at work and go for lots of massages, your spine cannot tolerate long periods in the sitting position very well.
A lot of stress and pressure is put through the structures in the neck when we sit for long periods, especially when we add in poor posture to the equation…
You know the posture I mean, head stuck forward and shoulders rounded, slumped over. Sometimes known as “city slumpers”, the people who adopt this position are adding even more stress and strain to the neck.
As a general rule, up to 30 minutes of sitting is the maximum your body can tolerate safely before a change in position is needed.
2. Not getting enough sleep
Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to experience neck pain more frequently.
When you sleep your body can recover and rebuild.
After a busy period at work or after a lot of activity for example after doing a lot of housework or working out in the gym, if you are not giving your body chance to fully heal and recover with good quality sleep, this can be a big reason why you’re neck pain comes on.
Even if you don’t exercise, not getting enough sleep (as a general rule 8 hours per night) will impact on the health of your neck.
If you are a neck pain sufferer or someone who finds their neck tends to flare up quite often and you wake up and you can’t turn your head, not getting enough good quality sleep could be one of the reasons your neck pain keeps flaring up.
It's worth noting as well, that the position you sleep in makes a big difference. Try not to sleep on your front or your back to avoid irritating the joints in your neck. Similarly, if you sleep with too many pillows or not enough then this can be a factor in why your neck becomes irritated.
3. Stretching your neck
I see this all the time…
People with neck pain being prescribed neck stretches.
Yes, stretching your muscles feels good and may give you temporary relief.
But, if your neck is painful, why would we want to stretch it?
If you have a blister, rubbing it, and stretching it will not help it improve.
If your neck is painful and sore to move, then forcing it to stretch further, could be aggravating it and stopping it from properly healing.
By stretching the neck you are getting some short term relief.
But, unless the root cause of your specific neck problem is identified and treated, then the neck pain is unlikely to improve as you wish and it will continue to be an ongoing problem.
So there you have it, 3 reasons why your neck pain is not improving.
There are many more reasons why your neck pain may not be improving but these are some of the key reasons. For ongoing neck pain I would always recommend seeing a specialist neck pain physio for help.
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