Could that poor posture be giving you more than a bad neck?
We’ve all had a stiff neck at some point or another, but do we really understand what is going on, and is ‘putting up and shutting up’ really a good idea?
Life happens and pains come and go, but there comes a point when we have had enough. When that time comes, we want to do anything we can to get rid of the pain and make it go away!
I get it, I have been there, with terrible neck ache that is stopping my focus, my concentration, and my ability to relax and have fun. However, I also know now why my body is giving me pain in the first place.
Remember the last time you touched a hot dish, a hot iron, or tested the hot tap? It was ‘hot’ right, or was it painful? Was that pain signal a good thing? Did it make you take your hand away quickly before harm? It is pretty obvious that if we leave our hand on a hot iron, we will burn and harm ourselves. And therefore, the pain that made you recoil is a good thing!
What if the same were true for neck pain? What if your body was trying to tell you something?
This is how I choose to view the human body and our pain experiences. Instead of wanting to eliminate them fast, why not take the time to understand them and change what we are doing?
And when it comes to Neck Pain, there are not many parts of your body more important to listen to!
As I am sure you know, your brain is controlling every function of your body both in your control and subconsciously. From your limbs to your belly, your heart to your kidneys. But have you ever thought how the message gets from your brain to your body?
Exactly, through the nervous system; the spinal cord, and importantly, through the neck. So, any pain signal that may be coming from that area is essential to understand and do something about, as it may be the warning that the connection between your brain and your body are not working properly.
If we understand that only about 10% of the nerves in your spine control pain (yes that is a whopping 90% controlling how your body moves and breathes!) Then if we have pain in the neck, quite possibly there is a problem with the other nerves. Like a pinch on a hosepipe, less water means a wilted plant, less nerve signal means a wilted YOU.
So next time you have pain, especially in the neck, ask yourself WHY? And take the time to find someone who will help you understand that and set a plan to fix the problem and not just the pain.
But for now, let’s have a think about what we can do right now, to help ourselves!
Here are my TOP THREE TIPS for avoiding neck pain and maintaining the health of your spine and nervous system:
1. Hold your phone up.
Looking down at our phone with the classic ‘text neck’ is the biggest aggravator of neck issues these days. It is not just an aesthetic problem (think Kevin the teenager). It is seriously detrimental to our health.
So, choose to hold your phone up to eye level, not bring your gaze down to the phone.
2- Correct pillow height.
Having the correct pillow height is important for a good night’s sleep and waking up feeling great.
Sleeping on your side is best – try using a folded towel (not a rolled-up towel) to get the right height for you. Ideally, you should be asleep within 20 min and not wake up with neck pain.
3. Stop slouching on your sofa!
This is possibly one of the worst things you can do for your neck! Instead of sitting in a soft comfy sofa that causes you to sink into it and put pressure on your neck by pushing your head so far forward. Try laying on your side or on the floor with proper support for your head.
Have an amazing week.