Does your neck hurt? There’s a very good chance it could be because of poor posture. How you stand, walk, sit, and sleep can have a big impact on whether or not your neck is pain-free.
If your neck hurts, following the simple tips below can help you rectify the situation. But if you need more care, Jose E. Rodriguez-Cordova, MD, FACS, at Orthopaedic Institute For Spinal Disorders can help. Dr. Rodriguez-Cordova is a spine specialist, and he can give you a thorough evaluation, treat your neck pain, and help you get the posture you need.
What causes neck pain?
Many things can cause neck pain. Among them are the following:
- Muscle strains from staring at a computer or leaning over a smart phone for hours a day
- Herniated discs or bone spurs in your neck that compress spinal cord nerves
- Joints that are worn due to osteoarthritis
- Whiplash injuries
- Rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or meningitis
Though neck pain is rarely a sign of something serious, it’s important that you see Dr. Rodriguez-Cordova if simple treatments don’t work and your pain continues.
What is posture?
Posture describes how you hold yourself when you’re standing, walking, sitting, or sleeping. For good posture when you’re standing or walking, you should be able to draw a straight line from the back of your head to your shoulders to the back of your hips.
For good posture when you’re sitting, your neck should be vertical, your arms should relaxed and close to your body, your knees should be at a right angle, and your feet flat should be on the floor.
When sleeping, your spine and neck should be aligned. Try sleeping on your side with your neck supported.
When you slump or slouch, your musculoskeletal system can become misaligned, and your spine can become more fragile. This can result in stiffness, decreased range of motion, and even difficulty digesting food and breathing.
Here’s how you can improve your posture
There are a number of ways you can improve your posture, including the following.
How often do you think about your posture? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about it much. But if poor posture is causing you pain, you need to think about the way you’re carrying yourself. Until you get in the habit of staying aware of your posture, you can set your phone to ping you every hour, so you can remind yourself.
Be sure to adjust your computer monitor so you’re looking straight ahead, not down, and place your TV at eye level.
Wear low-heeled shoes
Any shoes that can make you walk funny, such as high-heeled shoes, can affect your posture and balance. Most of the time, you should wear low-heeled shoes and save your high-heeled ones for special occasions.
Get and maintain a healthy weight
Extra pounds can weaken your abdominal muscles, which provide body strength and stability. By losing weight, you can help your abdominal muscles support you and therefore help your posture.
Is poor posture causing you neck pain? To learn more or to get help, book an appointment online or over the phone with Orthopaedic Institute For Spinal Disorders today.