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Sedentary Lifestyles and a Painful Neck

crick in the neck

Neck problems are more common these days, due to our sedentary lifestyles. How often do we use computers and phones throughout the day? Now let’s think about our posture whenever we use these devices. 

Posture plays a large role in maintaining neck health.

Good posture, limits our chance of developing problems that can negatively affect our daily activities. Issues with our neck are commonly associated with pain, headaches, and general stiffness. Stiffness will cause difficulty looking over your shoulder, looking up or down. This can affect your driving and also cause headaches. You may experience radiating pain or numbness down into the arm or hand. Weakness is also common with neck dysfunction. In severe cases, neck weakness can in turn cause significant weakness into the hand making it hard to grip things or write.  

Common complaints from patients who have neck problems:

  • Turning to check your blind spot when driving
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches that can negatively affect concentration and productivity
  • Inability to look down or up for a period of time which can influence computer use, reading, or daily chores.

With more advanced neck problems, you may also start having difficulty reaching overhead, carrying or lifting heavy objects due to the impact on your shoulders.

Neck problems are most commonly associated with irritation of the nerves and muscles that surround the neck.

Irritation of nerves is usually caused by abnormal pressure which leads to inflammation, muscle irritation, and radiating symptoms into the hand.  You can also develop stiffness in the joints which will limit your range of motion, cause increased tightness of muscles in shoulders and neck, and pain. Weakness in your neck and upper back will also develop with neck conditions making it difficult to maintain good posture and putting even more stress on the neck and surrounding muscles and joints.

The good news is that neck problems respond well to physical therapy! Physical therapy is a good option for conservative treatment which can help:

  • Improve your mobility
  • Decrease pain
  • Restore function

Through manual mobilizations of the neck and stretching, you can greatly improve your neck’s range of motion resulting in improved muscle flexibility and decreased pain with daily activities. Specific strengthening exercises will address any muscle imbalances, improve posture, and decrease abnormal stress on tendons, ligaments, and nerves. By resolving these symptoms you will find that your overall sleep quality will improve, you will have fewer and less intense headaches, and your overall pain and stiffness will resolve allowing you to resume your daily life.

At LSTC one of our expert physical therapists fully evaluate your neck and associated symptoms. They will then create a personalized plan of care, to help restore your full function and get you back to your normal lifestyle.

Don’t ignore your pain whether you’ve been dealing with it for days, weeks or even years! Call today at 703-450-4300, and schedule your evaluation!

 

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