Everybody who has been exposed to straining work and positions has experienced neck pain—only in varying degrees.
In fact, Chronic neck pain is one of the most common pain issues faced by employees and students alike, especially after a long day at work or in school where the neck muscles can be strained from poor posture, whether when you’re leaning over your computer or hunching over your desk.
Causes of Neck pain
While there can be a myriad of factors contributing to your neck pain, experts say that these reasons may be the culprit:
It is very common and possible that your neck hurts because of muscle overuse. Did you know that you use your neck muscles in doing the simplest of tasks such as reading in bed or gritting your teeth?
Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord can cause neck pains as well.
If you have been involved in a rear-end auto collisions which often result in whiplash injury, chances are you can experience neck pains sooner or later. This is caused by the straining the soft tissues of the neck when the head is jerked backward and then forward.
Certain types of diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer, can include neck pain as one of the symptoms.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Pain that’s often worsened by holding your head in one place for long periods such as when driving or working in front of a computer;
- Muscle tightness and spasms;
- Decreased ability to move your head;
While some people can stand Neck pain and don’t mind it at all, a number of cases can be severe enough that it can adversely affect the quality of one’s life.
Because of its position and range of motion, and because it plays a vital role in the support of the head, the neck is more subject to injury than any other portion of the spine.
How Can Acupuncture Help?
Regardless of what caused the neck pain to begin, many people find relief with acupuncture when seemingly nothing else helped.
While this maybe a relatively new practice in the West, Acupuncture has been around the East for centuries now and has proven to aid numerous medical conditions time and time again. In fact, it is an ancient technique, refined through centuries of use.
How does it work?
This traditional Chinese technique uses thin needles that are inserted into the body at specific spots called “acupoints”.
It is based on the ancient belief that blocked chi, or energy is the one that causes pain in the area of the body. By inserting the needles to a certain acupoints, the energy will be unblocked and therefore pain will be relieved.
Many studies and medical trials have conducted to test the legitimacy of the practice and an impressive number of researchers have shown acupuncture to be effective in relieving certain types of neck pain, particularly those caused by whiplash.
Scientific researchers and clinicians have been conducting clinical trials on the use of acupuncture for neck pain since the 1980’s.
In fact, an analysis of 29 studies with a total of 17,922 participants with back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache and shoulder pain found that people with those conditions experienced significantly more relief with acupuncture than those who had no treatment.
These studies suggest acupuncture can treat degenerative neck disorders such as ankylosing spondylosis and cervical spondylosis; in many cases. Acupuncture has worked for patients whose conditions could not be solved using conventional approaches.
How to Prevent Neck Pain
In the end, prevention is still always better than cure. Here are some of the healthy practices and tricks on how you can avoid neck pain:
- Practice good posture. When standing and sitting, be sure your shoulders are in a straight line over your hips and your ears are directly over your shoulders.
- Adjust your desk, chair and computer so that the monitor is at eye level. Knees should be slightly lower than hips. Use your chair’s armrests.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can put you at higher risk of developing neck pain.
- Take frequent breaks. If you travel long distances or work long hours at your computer, get up, move around and stretch your neck and shoulders.
- Avoid tucking the phone between your ear and shoulder when you talk. Use a headset or speakerphone instead.
- Avoid carrying heavy bags with straps over your shoulder.
- Sleep in a good position. Your head and neck should be aligned with your body. Use a small pillow under your neck. Try sleeping on your back with your thighs elevated on pillows, which will flatten your spinal muscles.