One of the complaints we hear most often at Duston Chiropractic is that our clients are suffering with a stiff neck. You’ve probably experienced this at least once in your life, whether it’s just stiffness in the neck or it feels tender whenever you press the muscle around your neck. Unfortunately for many, they experience it on a more regular basis, even to the point where it makes everyday tasks almost impossible to complete.
Neck Muscles Strain
It’s not surprising that this issue happens so often, with the human adult head weighing on average between 10 and 14 pounds (or roughly five kilos). That’s a lot of weight that your neck has to support all day, every day. If you’re still not sure of the enormity of that weight, that’s the average weight of a bowling ball. Just think how much your arm would ache if you carried a bowling ball around in one hand all day, that’s the strain that your neck is under! We rarely stop to think about the strength of our neck muscles, but this does stress how much demand is placed on them.
Causes of Neck Pain
If you currently have or have previously suffered from a stiff neck, there’s a number of things that could have caused it, more commonly a sprain or strain. This form of damage usually affects the levator scapula, or the muscle that connects your neck and shoulders. Any damage such as strains or sprains to this muscle can make it uncomfortable or even painful to turn or tilt your head in any direction.
The most common time to notice that you’re suffering from a stiff neck is when you wake up first thing in the morning. This isn’t surprising, considering that a sprain or strain to your neck muscle can occur just from laying with your neck in an unusual position for too long. You may wake with a stiff neck and put this down to having just ‘slept funny’, whilst this isn’t the technical term we use, you are right!
What position do you sleep in? This position can be crucial to whether or not you commonly suffer from a stiff neck. Those that sleep on their front are essentially forcing their head to one side for about eight hours, which is an unnatural position for the neck to be in. That’s why front sleepers are some of the most commonly afflicted with stiff necks. The type or quality of your pillow can also be a cause of a stiff neck, whether it’s too high, or flat, or just doesn’t properly support the neck.
Muscle Stiffness in Office jobs
Besides how you sleep at night, how you sit during the day could also be a contributing factor to stiff necks. If you work a desk job, you’re probably all too familiar with the health issues of sitting down all day. When it comes to stiff necks, your posture at your desk is critical. Sit up straight and make sure your neck isn’t too far forward when you’re in front of your computer, as this can cause extra stress on your neck muscles. The same applies even if you’re just watching TV or using your phone.
Fortunately, it’s rare that a stiff neck is serious, and the soreness and stiffness will usually dissipate after a few days. The good news is that chiropractic adjustment can stimulate the process of healing and correct any misalignments that may be a contributing factor to the pain.
If you’re suffering from a stiff neck, whatever the cause, please feel free to get in touch with us to find out how we can help relieve your pain and discomfort. Give us a call on 01604 754 456, email email@example.com or visit our contact page.
Nick has been treating patients for over 9 years. He currently works in clinics in Duston and Milton Keynes.