By Dr. Kelly Herta
When you were younger you would stand up straight with good posture and you didn’t have any neck or shoulder pain. When you slept at night you didn’t wake up with neck pain and you didn’t sit in front of the computer and have shoulder and arm pain. But, now you look at yourself from the side and you realize your posture is not what it used to be and you suffer from daily neck, upper back or arm pain.
This pain is often due to spinal misalignments in the neck and upper back which can be caused by neck injuries such as ‘whiplash,’ the cumulative affect of improper sitting posture, reading in bed, poor work habits, stomach sleeping, lack of proper exercise and other lifestyle-related factors. All of these factors cause misalignments in the spine, pain and eventually what is called a “forward head carriage.” This “forward head carriage” simply means that if you look at someone from the side their ears are not lined up with the center of the shoulders, causing increased stress on the joints of the neck. Sooner or later this increased stress causes the muscles to weaken, spasm and can even cause disc injuries in the neck and upper back resulting in an unsightly “bump” at the base of the neck.
Uncorrected chronic spinal misalignments an lead to increased pressure being put on the delicate nerves in the area, sending the surrounding muscles into a painful movement-limiting spasm, cause headaches, and even numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms or hands. In time, the position of the head moves forward causing a decrease in your neck’s natural curve. Ultimately this may cause chronic stiffness in the area and a bump at the base of your neck.
Many of the causes of chronic neck pain can be prevented through chiropractic care. Chiropractic care involves correcting spinal misalignments, restoring posture, strengthening muscles and reducing muscle spasm. If you are not yet suffering from chronic neck pain but realize that you already suffer from some of the causes it is pertinent to try to fix these issues before you do have pain. Remember, pain is your body’s way of telling you something is already wrong.
For more information, contact Dr. Kelly Herta, DC at Aligned Health Chiropractic & Wellness Center. Located at 27875 Smyth Dr. # 100, or call (661)295-5200.