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Stop Being A Pain In The Neck

by Pablo Jareno

The upper back and neck are such a sensitive area of the body, at least one point in our lives we will deal with some sort of neck pain/strain.

From my experience, prevention is much better than cure. A good idea would be to set aside some time to look after your body before it screams at you for not giving it the attention it needs.

Your upper back and neck are the most used areas of our bodies as they allow us to do so many day to day things, but they are also some of the most aggravated and injured, especially now with more sedentary lifestyles being increasingly common.

According to Dr Jamie Wood DPT CSCS,

“Neck Pain is the 4th leading cause of disability in the United States with annual prevalence ranging between 30-50%.  Prevalence is higher in women compared to men and peaks around 45 years of age.  At any given time 10-20% of the population reports neck pain with 54% of individuals experiencing neck discomfort within the past 6 months”

This shows that neck pain and injuries are very common and happen to quite a lot of us at one point or another.

Common Causes Of Neck Pain

My question is, ‘have you ever, or have you ever known anyone who has suffered from a sore neck/back pain?’

There are many causes of neck pain, and these could range from:

•laying on too many pillows in bed
•sleeping in a awkward position in bed
•Lifting too much (over exertion)
•Long/excessive duration in the one posture
•Gritting teeth
•Worn joints
•Nerve compression

As you can see there are quite a few culprits, but a lot of these come under the same categories and can be minimised or prevented by making some simple changes.

The Anatomy

The anatomy of your upper back and neck is very complex, with major muscle groups, along with 7 cervical vertebrae (neck) and 12 thoracic vertebrae (back).

Back anatomy

These areas can get very short and tight due to hours of excessive slouched, sitting or putting these parts of the spine in an unnatural position for a prolonged period of time.

If this sounds like you, correcting this would help prevent injuries to the neck and spine, improving your overall mobility and richness of life.

Seat positioning

Sleeping with too many pillows (or no pillows) can also be a lead to neck and upper back pain, as it also causes your spine to be locked in a curve for long periods , resulting in shortened muscles on one side.

Choose the right pillow

Stress is also one of the most common hidden reasons for neck and upper back pain, as we tend to hold a lot of our stress and worries in our upper backs and necks.

After talking to the 100’s of people coming through the doors of DMC Fitness, it is easy to see that the body will find ways to take in stress and protect us, but this may mean the body getting stiff and tight in certain areas.

So now we’ve established the main causes, the next step is prevention and recovery. I will go into this in part 2: “How To Prevent Neck Pain”

In the meantime, any questions or comments, get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”,