Let’s Talk About Chronic Neck Pain

There are two types of people who get chronic neck pain…Let’s see, which am I?

Well If you have little ones, you are probably like me, and although I cherish the time that I have to carry my children on my neck/shoulders, I know that if I don’t take proper care of my neck, shoulders and spine, I won’t be able to do this with my grandchildren!

The other group of people that get the same type of pain as this are those that work on a computer or sit at a desk for long periods of time. This used to be mostly secretaries and office workers. But, more and more, it is kids and grown-ups who spend hours at their computer. Let’s get a mental picture of what happens when we spend too much time with our head and neck in the same position.

The human head is a heavy object, let’s say a 5lb bowling ball, sitting on a tiny little platform that sits on a stack of Legos. Let’s say that the bright yellow Legos are your discs and the bright blue Legos are the cushions that allow the yellow Legos to move easily. Now, let’s imagine that the bright blue Legos are made out of foam.

So, we have a 5lb bowling ball, sitting on a little round pad, that is being supported by a stack of Legos. What happens when you bend a tower of Legos over too far? Yep, they break. But! The human body is prepared for bending so instead of “breaking” the blue foam allows the discs to move without breaking. The problem is that, just like any foam, it gets thinner from the constant pressure of the bowling ball being bent in the same position. This causes the bright yellow Legos start to move, gradually and slowly out of place. And, the result is Chronic Neck Pain.

If you don’t do anything about it, eventually you will start to notice that your head leans forward all the time, and your neck and shoulders burn and hurt. You may even notice that you start to get a hump on your back as it gives in to the pressure on the spine. This is your body telling you that you’ve had the bowling ball leaning forward too long and your Legos are bent in the wrong direction.
I have noticed that more young people are coming to me with misalignments in their neck and spine because of the time they spend on computers at school and at home. And, more people that work with computers for long periods of time, without taking breaks and stretching, are often in a lot of pain when they come in.

It is very important that you set a timer and stretch regularly when you are working on a computer or focusing on a task that has you in the same position. People have a tendency to lose track of time when they are concentrating on a task and don’t eat properly or get the exercise they need for their body to stay healthy.

It is always better to start seeing a chiropractor before you are in a lot of pain and your discs have moved out of alignment. Through a regular program, you can have a straight spine and neck and still enjoy your regular activities. For some of us that will be playing with our kids, for others it will be working on a favorite hobby, and for others, it will be focusing on a task at work.
No matter what you are doing, it will be much more pleasant and rewarding when you are not in pain and can enjoy it indefinitely.
Until next week.