Making Decisions About Home Care

Three Common Lifestyle Habits That Cause Neck Pain

by Mae Ferguson

It is usually easy to pinpoint the cause of your neck pain. Perhaps you overreached during a sporting event. Maybe you were recently in an auto accident and suffered some whiplash. It could even be that you slept oddly one night. Sometimes, however, it isn't that easy to identify the cause of your pain.

Sporadic neck pain isn't anything to worry about. However, if you are suffering from neck pain on a constant basis, you may have an underlying cause—or your lifestyle may to blame.

If you can't pinpoint the exact cause of your neck pain, consider these three common—but often overlooked—causes of neck, shoulder, and back pain:

1. Sleeping on Your Stomach

Many people enjoy sleeping on their stomach. After all, it's a comfortable position and it's easy to fall asleep that way. Unfortunately, it can often cause a lot of pain—especially in the neck area.

While you're fast asleep on your stomach, your head is forced to lie to the side. During the night, your neck stays that way and when you wake up, you experience pain; this is because your neck muscles are overextended.

If you frequently find that you wake up with neck pain and you are on your stomach, try to alter your sleeping position. Although it isn't easy, it is possible. Start by falling asleep on your side or back. If you find that you wake up on your stomach again, just flip so that you are laying on your side or back again. Slowly, you'll train your body to sleep in a more comfortable position.

2. Technology

Technology is a staple in today's world. From cell phones to laptops, technology is something that most people use every day. Unfortunately, those beloved devices can cause neck pain.

When using your cell phone or laptop, you probably hold the screen in a position that makes you look down. Over time, your neck becomes stiff and can begin to hurt due to the prolonged time it is the down-looking position.

If you are experiencing pain, make sure you hold your cell phone up at eye level. You should also make sure to keep your laptop and other devices at eye level to reduce strain. If you cannot do that, try to limit your usage to prevent pain.  

3. Tied Too Tight

It may sound odd, but your necktie may to be blame when it comes to neck pain. Even if you don't experience immediate pain, it is possible that your necktie is tied too tightly. Over time, this increases the tension on the neck and results in pain.

If you have pain, eliminate wearing a tie. If you must wear a tie, make sure it isn't tied too tightly. You should be able to slip a finger or two in between the tie and your skin.

If after changing your lifestyle habits you still experience uncomfortable neck pain, consider visiting a doctor. It is possible you have an underlying health condition causing the pain.