How Fixing Your Posture Can Help Your Chronic Neck Pain

Feb 14, 2024
How Fixing Your Posture Can Help Your Chronic Neck Pain
Having a pain in the neck is much more than a frustrated hyperbole — it’s a common health issue. One of the most common causes of neck pain is poor posture. Keep reading to learn how we can help.

When your neck pain discomfort is more than occasional, it could be chronic. Did you know that it could be because of your posture? 

Contemporary life creates challenges when it comes to maintaining the curve of your cervical spine. 

Chronic neck pain creates plenty of difficulties. That’s why our team at Coast Neurosurgical Associates in Long Beach, California, gathered these tips to show you how fixing your posture can improve your chronic neck pain. 

We urge you to contact us if you see no improvement after introducing these changes. There’s an answer to your neck pain problem, and we’ll help you find the solution. 

Your neck’s anatomy

The bones of the cervical spine form the curved shape that supports your head in a balanced position over your body’s center of gravity. Soft tissue, like muscles, tendons, and ligaments, naturally hold this balance while allowing the wide range of motion your head enjoys. 

Poor posture puts more pressure on your soft tissues. Spinal discs between vertebrae become uneven and compressed, contributing to potential herniated discs when the center gel breaks through weak spots in the outer disc walls. 

Problems created by poor posture

As you tip your head forward, the cervical spine experiences increased stress, to the tune of 10 pounds of force for every inch of forward tilt. 

That can overload the muscles and other support tissue in the neck. The changed curve of the spine can compress nerves while adding tension throughout the neck and shoulders. Nerve compression often creates symptoms in your arms and hands. 

Viewing handheld devices like smartphones and tablets tips your head forward, often for extended periods. Ergonomically weak computer and laptop workstations with monitors below eye level do the same. Add up these challenges, and it’s easy to see how chronic neck pain can develop.

Fix your posture to reduce neck pain

Before rushing to blame technology for your discomfort, remember that the problem's source is most likely your body positioning. Address it, and you may quickly notice improvements in your pain symptoms. 

Address your ergonomics

Ergonomics is a way to assist in holding a balanced posture. In a computer workstation, that might mean raising monitors and placing them at a distance that allows easy viewing while sitting back in a supportive chair. 

Your chin is up, your eyes focus on the screen straight ahead or slightly below eye level, and your shoulders are back. There’s no hunching or leaning forward.

Handheld devices present more of a challenge. The obvious solution, raising the device with your arms, quickly causes fatigue. Your arms and the device drop, and your neck then tips forward, likely without thought. 

Instead, consider using stands and support devices to bring your phone or tablet into a better ergonomic position for your posture. 

Build in Movement

Your body is made for movement. Holding any position for long periods can cause pain. You don’t need lengthy interruptions from your working posture, but simply standing and walking for 30 seconds every 30 minutes allows you to move your joints. 

It’s also the perfect time to do a posture self-check and reset. If necessary, set a recurring timer on your phone or smartwatch. As well as your posture, you may find the body reset also helps your mind find new solutions to the tasks you’re working on. 

Our doctors at Coast Neurosurgical Associates specialize in treating chronic neck pain. When fixing your posture falls short, contact us online or by phone to make an appointment at our Long Beach, California, office today.