Updated: Jul 11
The neck is one of the most important and sensitive areas of the human body. It is an area that we use every single day. We turn our heads to look at things. We nod to say "yes" or "no," we tilt our heads to one side when we're on the phone, and so much more.
But we all have days when we can barely turn our heads. So have you wondered if you're doing something wrong? Neck pain is a sad reality that affects millions of people. It is one of the most common complaints. And there are mistakes you're making when it comes to neck pain.
A lot of these mistakes actually make your neck pain worse. But no need to worry because the right information will help you manage your neck pain. It's only natural to want to stop your neck pain. Finally, you're in the right place!
Our pain management NYC center is here to help you feel less pain, reduce inflammation, and help you improve your day-to-day life so that you don't have to hurt so much. We've put together this list of common mistakes people make when it comes to neck pain. And by avoiding these mistakes, you may prevent neck pain from coming back.
Poor Posture Throughout the Day
The way you sit at your desk and drive in the car can cause issues with your neck. If you tend to slouch while sitting or driving, it will put more pressure on your neck and shoulders, which could lead to pain. This kind of bad posture can lead to muscle strain in the upper back and neck, which causes muscle spasms and knots known as trigger points.
Trigger points are painful spots in muscles that feel like hard knots under the skin when pressed lightly with a finger or thumb. To correct this issue, focus on improving your posture and keeping your back straight while working at your desk or driving in your car.
Carrying Unnecessary Weight
When you're recovering from a neck injury, it's important not to carry anything heavy. This includes purses, backpacks, shopping bags, etc. Carrying unnecessary weight can put stress on your joints, which can lead to inflammation in your joints and muscles.
This inflammation can cause pain in your joints and muscles as well as stiffness in those areas. This can cause your shoulders to round forward, which puts extra pressure on your neck and lower back muscles.
Not Getting Enough Exercise
Your neck needs exercise just like any other part of your body does. Regular exercise can help reduce stress on your spine by strengthening your back muscles and improving posture. Exercise also releases endorphins—natural feel-good chemicals—in your brain that can relieve pain naturally without taking drugs or using supplements.
Sitting in the Wrong Position
The way you sit is one of the biggest contributors to neck pain. If you spend long periods of time looking down at your phone or computer screen, it can cause issues with your posture and alignment of your spine. The head should be balanced directly over the shoulders and not tilted forward or backward. Sitting at an angle could lead to painful muscle spasms in your neck and shoulders as well as headaches.
Not Resting Your Neck Properly
If you've been injured and are suffering from neck pain, the first thing you should do is rest your neck properly. This means not bending your head forward or backward. You should also avoid looking down at your phone or computer screen for long periods of time since this can strain your neck muscles and create tension in them.
If you're in a lot of pain and can't move your head without experiencing pain, then this is something that you should see a pain specialist about. Because they will be able to help you with strengthening exercises and movements that will help relieve some of that pain.
Ignoring Other Symptoms
When you have neck pain, it's easy to focus on just that area. But your neck isn't the only part of your body that can be affected when you're dealing with a pinched nerve or muscle spasms.
Some of the other symptoms you might experience include the following:
• Arm numbness or tingling
• Pain in your upper arm
• Pain in your shoulder blade and upper back area
• Neck stiffness and swelling
• Headaches or migraines
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for good health, including a healthy neck. Getting enough sleep allows your body to repair itself and heals any damage that may have been done during the day. Sleep also helps with relaxation, which can reduce stress on your muscles and joints. If you don't get enough sleep, your body may not be able to heal properly, and this could lead to more pain.
Sleeping in an Awkward Position
Sleeping with your head turned too far in one direction can put pressure on nerves in the spine and lead to numbness or tingling sensations in your hands or fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome). If you have chronic neck pain, you may find that sleeping is difficult. This is because positioning your head while asleep is crucial for reducing stress on muscles and joints in your neck.
If you sleep on your side, try to avoid bending your neck forward or backward too much when you lie down. You should also try to keep your head level with the rest of your body so that there are no twists or turns in your upper body when you lie down.
If this isn't possible for you, use pillows under your knees and behind your back so that they're slightly elevated compared to the rest of your body. This will help reduce stress on your neck while sleeping and may even allow you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than normal.
Working Through the Pain
Another mistake people make when their necks hurt is trying to tough it out instead of taking time off from work or school. This can actually worsen the pain and make recovery take much longer than it needs to.
Taking Too Much Pain Medications
Drugs are often prescribed as a way to treat chronic conditions such as arthritis, but they aren't always necessary or even helpful for everyone who has them! In fact, many medications have side effects that can make things worse instead of better — especially if taken together with other drugs.
Not Stretching Out Your Neck Muscles
If you have neck pain, chances are your neck muscles are tight. Stretching your neck muscles can help decrease muscle tension and keep them from becoming overworked. Just like any other muscle in your body, the muscles in your neck need regular stretching and exercise. If you work at a desk all day, you probably don't get a chance to stretch out those muscles.
The muscles that support your head are subject to a lot of stress throughout the day. If they're not stretched out regularly, they can become tight and strained, which can lead to pain in the neck and shoulders. Therefore, stretching should be part of every workout routine and should include stretches for the upper back, chest, shoulders, arms, and hips.
Not Taking Your Neck Seriously
A lot of people think that neck pain isn't serious and don't seek treatment until they're in so much pain they can't move their head. Unfortunately, the mistake most people make when they have neck pain is not taking their condition seriously enough. They may think that it's nothing more than a minor nuisance and will eventually go away on its own. Or they may think that it's just part of aging and there's nothing that can be done about it.
But if you have chronic pain in your neck or back, it's important to see a health professional right away. If you wait too long, the problem may become worse and more difficult to treat. In fact, the neck is one of the most critical structures in the body. It's where all the nerves connect to the brain and where your brain connects to your spinal cord. So if you have neck pain, it's important to take it seriously.
It is Important to Take Care of Your Neck
While there are many factors that can worsen your neck pain, getting to the bottom of the problem can help you discover the root of the issue. If you have neck pain, you should not ignore it because it may lead to serious problems such as stress, depression, and other medical conditions.
Thankfully, there are a number of different treatment options available to you. If you are suffering from neck pain, seek medical attention right away from our pain management NYC specialists.
And by addressing it right away and seeking medical attention if needed, you can save yourself a lot of stress down the line. So if you're experiencing neck pain, take a moment to figure out what's aggravating it. Then do something about it to get back to enjoying your everyday life.