According to the Academy of Pain Management chronic neck pain has a deleterious effect on one's quality of life. People who live in chronic pain are affected not only physically but mentally also.
Impact on Quality of Life
• Almost two-thirds (59%) reported an impact on their overall enjoyment of life.
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• More than three-quarters of patients (77%) reported feeling depressed.
• 70% said they have trouble concentrating.
• 74% said their energy level is impacted by their pain.
• 86% reported an inability to sleep well.
While neck pain can be an irritant to life, it is usually compounded by other conditions that seem to be associated. Often associated with chronic neck pain are headaches, cognitive fog, TMJ, and upper back pain. In our office in Los Angeles, we have been taking care of people with these types of chronic conditions with great success.
Unfortunately when most Americans confront these conditions they run to the drug cabinet. While painkilling medication is effective at treating the symptoms and giving pain relief it is NOT going to take away the cause and produce a cure. In the following paragraphs, we would like to talk about some common causes of neck pain and then give solutions to help you eliminate triggers and remove the underlying cause.
Ergonomics That Are Helpful For Neck Pain Sufferers
Most people these days are working behind a desk, either on the phone, on the computer, or sitting at a desk for long hours. These unnatural postures can exacerbate an underlying condition. We have found that there are many things you can do to help eliminate many of the postural faults that exacerbate chronic neck problems:
• Make sure that your chair has lumbar support. Most people have a tendency to slouch when they sit. When someone slouches, this causes the natural curve in the low back to be lost, and as such this puts pressure on the muscles and discs which has a stressful effect on the rest of the spine, including the neck.
• Make sure that your computer is at eye level. Many workers are looking at a computer monitor that is too high or too low, which puts stress on the cervical muscles exacerbating their problems.
• For those of you that type all day long, make sure that your elbows are resting on the armrest of a chair. Many chairs have adjustable armrests. By resting the elbows you are taking pressure off of the muscles off the upper shoulders. They no longer have to be contracted all day long as you type. This can be an absolute game-changer for many individuals.
• If you talk on the phone all day do yourself a favor and get a headpiece. Many of us have the bad habit of holding the phone between our ears and our shoulder. Lateral bending of the head is bad for the neck joints and is very stressful on the cervical spine muscles.
Trauma And Neck Pain
Your head is a 10-13 pound ball that rests on the top bone in the neck that weighs 2 ounces. To make this junction even more unstable the head is resting on the end of a stick-your neck. Whiplash-type traumas cause a shearing motion between the head and neck, damaging the soft tissue(ligaments, tendons, and muscles) that support the normal movement of this junction. This trauma causes structural instabilities to the joints and as a result, the vertebra misaligns, and functionally the muscles spasm due to the weakened tissue. This misalignment has a chain reaction throughout the system neurologically speaking and can cause not only neck pain but a host of other health problems that people do not relate to the initial injury.
Our doctors are skilled and trained to correct these misalignments and then monitor the patient over time to make sure it heals as nature intended it. If you suffer from chronic neck problems our office gives a free consultation.
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