Many of us have suffered, at least for periods of time, from neck pains. In more severe cases, this pain can extend across the shoulder blades and even down the arms to create numbness or the sensation of pins and needles in the hands. Sometimes headaches can be the result of problems originating in your neck. Neck problems are referred to by a host of terms, including fibrositis, rheumatism, slipped disc, and spondylosis of the neck. Some forms of discomfort and aggravation can be present at all times, or they can persist for months or years. The pain can drive us to seek the relief of chiropractic treatments or medications. Chiropractors from Markham Chiropractic Centre believes that neck pain can be attributed to the cumulative effects of bad postures that been sustained over a long period of time.
The joints in the neck – particularly, those between the uppermost vertebrae and the head – are ideally designed to lend it great flexibility. Also, no bony structures are attached to the spine in this area. But the absence of such structures also makes the neck more susceptible to strains than the rest of the spine. Ironically, its very flexibility is also the cause of many of the problems that we experience in that part of the body. This situation is exacerbated by certain factors that are prevalent in our culture, such as jobs that require prolonged sitting, and seating designs (both domestic and commercial) that encourage poor posture.
Postural stresses are the most common cause of neck pain. Poor posture overstretches the ligaments in your neck, causing damage to these soft tissues. When they heal they may shorter, tighten (becoming less elastic) and even form scar tissue. This creates a situation where even normal movements of your neck will cause pain because the scars are being stretched. Even if poor posture is not to blame, it can only aggravate and perpetuate this problem.
Poor sitting posture, which mainly entails sitting with your lower back slouched and your head protruded, is the factor most often to blame for neck pain. An upright posture is easier to maintain when we are walking or exercising. But sitting inevitably causes the head and neck to protrude because the muscles supporting them get tired and relax. The human body, by its very design, is not suited for prolonged periods of sitting. Over time, this kind of lifestyle overstretches the ligaments in the neck. Ideally, you should keep your lower back supported and your head and neck pulled back while you sit. But this requires repeated effort and reminders because the body’s natural tendency is to sag after a few minutes in a seated position. The best thing to do, then, is to assume good posture when you first sit down and then be aware, at regular intervals, if your neck is bending or your head protruding.
You can’t really correct the alignment of your neck if your lower back is slouched. The Good lower back positioning means that its natural hollow, which you can feel when you’re standing, is maintained when you’re sitting. This can only be accomplished if your back is right up against a chair for support. If this is not possible (for example, if you’re on a cushioned seat that encourages slouching), you’ll need the additional aid of a lumbar roll or similar back support. A lumbar roll is placed in the small of your back, at the level of your beltline, to right the position of your lower back and – by extension – your neck and head.