Good and Bad Posture and How it Can Affect Neck Pain

Good and Bad Posture and How it Can Affect Neck Pain

If your neck pain is not the result of injury or other trauma, what you may be feeling could be the result of poor posture.  Poor habits while using the computer, smartphones, and tablets can exacerbate pain.  Tension and stress can contribute to poor posture as well.

Posture and the neck

The neck is sandwiched between the head and the curvature of the spine so it stands to reason that prolonged poor posture might have a negative impact on the health of the neck muscle causing tightness and pain. To illustrate this think about the person who routinely sits with head held in a forward position with shoulders slumped forward. The forward head positioning forces the neck to slant forward which puts the head in front of the shoulders, which is unnatural. According to Gavin Morrison, PT the weight of the head in this position puts stress on the vertebrae of the lower neck, which can aggravate or contribute to degenerative disc disease or other degenerative neck issues (Morrison, 2011).

Do you sit with your head forward and your shoulders slumped forward? Many people exhibit this posture while watching TV, when playing video games and some find this position comfortable when typing on a computer keyboard. Neck pain is more likely to occur when this bad posture is continued long-term. If this example has intrigued you or has caused you to wonder about the good and bad posture and how it can affect neck pain continue reading this article for more fascinating facts about posture and neck pain.

The work environment and good and bad posture

We live in a computer-oriented society and many of us who sit at them all day long at work or for relaxation when we are at home tend to sit with our neck forward and our shoulders hunched according to an article written by Neha Gandhi of the Ladies’ Home Journal. This bad posture can lead to back and neck pain if the posture is held for a long period of time, day after day. Fortunately those who design desk chairs are aware of how computers are a fixed part of the workday and have created ergonomically designed desk chairs for at work and you can use these chairs for home offices too (Gandhi).

If you have a phone job and spend many hours with a phone stuck in the crook of your neck you may also experience tense muscles or neck pain because of poor posture. To prevent neck discomfort from tense neck muscles, be sure to use a headset or headphones, which will help prevent your neck muscles from contracting unevenly (Gandhi). It is also helpful to take frequent breaks when you can walk around and stretch. The breaks are helpful when you work at a desk, whether or not you are on the phone a lot.

Bad postures that can lead to neck pain

Many of us are guilty of walking around with our back hunched forward. This most likely is caused by long hours of sitting at a desk at work and at home, or over a game or computer screen. Not only can this bad posture cause neck pain, a person may also experience shoulder and back pain too. When we sit for prolonged periods of time our chest muscles can tighten which leads to the curved back. Our upper back muscles can actually stretch and weaken over time. Thank goodness there are exercises that can help us to strengthen these muscles including rolling on a foam roller and doing a yoga exercise called a prone cobra (Lakka, 2013).

Rounded shoulders are common especially among typists or athletics that do excessive chest pressing. Chronic rounded shoulders can lead to back, neck or shoulder pain. When individuals sit for long periods of time chest muscles can become tight causing the shoulders to rotate forward which will then cause the upper back muscles to loosen and become weaker. There are exercises you can do to correct this bad posture including stretching between a doorway. You can see these exercises in the article: Top 5 bad postures that can affect your heatlh.

It is amazing how much our lifestyles today can impact our bodies especially our posture. Most of us use computers at work and at home as well as smartphones and tablets, which means hours of sitting at a table or desk.  More than likely we do not have good postures. It is so easy to get into habits like slumping forward, rounding our shoulders or holding our head forward while working at a computer or while doing phone work.

How many of us relate the pain in our neck to the fact that we sit for long hours? Most of us probably give little thought at all to how our good and bad posture impacts whether or not we experience neck discomfort or pain.

The relationship between posture and neck pain

Once we recognize the relationship between posture and neck pain it then becomes easy to make an effort to counteract this with good habits of exercises that strengthen muscles or by becoming more aware of how we hold our head and shoulders while working at our desks.

No one likes to be in pain so if adjusting our posture, doing exercises or learning to be aware of how we are holding our head can help us to avoid pain most of us would make the effort.

As employers are becoming aware of this issue they too will do what they can to avoid the hassles of employees taking time off from work due to neck pain by providing better chairs and other accessories like headphones to help improve posture. Ultimately, noticing our posture and making an effort to choose good posture over bad is an individual choice to make. Educating employees on the relationship between poor posture and neck pain is something all employers can do.

 

Reference:

Morrison, G. (2011, March 07). How poor posture causes

              neck pain. Retrieved from http://www.spine-

health.com/conditions/neck-pain/how-poor-

posture-causes-neck-pain

 

Gandhi, N. (n.d.). 7 myths about bad posture dispelled.

Retrieved from http://www.lhj.com/health/pain-

management/back-pain/7-myths-about-bad-

posture-dispelled/

Lakka, S. (2013, May 16). Top 5 bad postures that can

            affect your heatlh. Retrieved from

http://health.india.com/diseases-conditions/top-5-

bad-postures-that-can-affect-your-health/

 

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