Some of the most common causes of neck pain:
- Poor posture and muscle strains. When you slouch and collapse your shoulders forward, it puts unwanted stress on the body. Muscle strains can result from overuse such as tilting your head and chin in an undesirable position for too long (looking up, down, or having your neck bent to the side).
- Worn joints. Just like all the other joints in your body, your neck joints tend to undergo wear and tear with age, which can cause osteoarthritis in your neck.
- Nerve compression. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
- Injuries. Whiplash injuries can occur when the head is jerked backward and then forward, stretching the soft tissues of the neck beyond limits.
- Practice gentle neck exercises and stretching. Exercises may improve pain by restoring muscle function, optimizing posture, and increasing the strength and endurance of your neck muscles. See your Onsite Occupational Athletics Trainer or other healthcare or fitness professional for assistance.
- Use proper body mechanics when lifting objects; keep your neck in line with your body.
- If you have a natural habit of sticking your neck and chin either up or down, you are straining your neck constantly. Be aware. Keep your neck and chin in line with your body.
- Sleeping on your side or back is ideal; sleeping on your stomach strains your neck. In addition, avoid using too high or too stiff a pillow, which keeps the neck flexed overnight.
- A horseshoe-shaped pillow can support your neck and prevent your head from dropping to one side while traveling or relaxing.