Have you ever woken up unable to move your neck? What is it that you do that makes you feel like you have slept pushed up against a rock? Why does it feel like your head was on backwards the whole time you were asleep?
Although neck pain happens because of your sleeping headstand adventures, many other things cause stiff neck. Some of the causes are actually the simple everyday things that you do.
Here are some of them:
Loading Up Your Backpack
Students tend to load their backpacks with very heavy textbooks. Young professionals load up their bags, too, with who knows what. Research shows that heavy loads can compress your spine and cause a painful stiff neck. Experts like Peterson Chiropractic recommend loading your pack not more than 10% of your weight and seeking chiropractic help when you feel the pain.
Wearing a Shoulder Bag on a Preferred Shoulder
Wearing a shoulder bag on your right shoulder all the time will create a lot of extra tension in your trapezius muscle (the wide, flat, and superficial muscle covering most of your upper back and neck). Alternate your shoulders every now and then, so that the load of the bag will fall on your muscles equally.
Doing the “1-Shoulder Phone Hold”
Cradling the phone with your shoulder is much like wearing a shoulder bag on one shoulder all the time. Doing this will also create an uneven tension in your shoulder muscles, as well as the muscle in your upper back and neck. This can set the stage for a stiff neck—or if you are already experiencing neck pain, doing the 1-shoulder phone hold will only worsen it.
Not Moving Around During Breaks
Lack of movement for a long time can lead to stiff neck, back pain, and other work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Change positions at least every 20 minutes. Also, do some exercises during your work breaks, such as a few neck and upper body stretchers.
A stiff neck is generally nothing to worry about, but if the pain persists, see a chiropractor. They can rule out any underlying problem. If a health issue is causing your stiff neck, the sooner you can get some treatment, the better.