Crick in the Neck? 5 Common Neck Ailments and Causes
Experiencing a crick in the neck or something more? Check out this list of 5 of the most common neck ailments and what causes them today!
Over one in ten American adults complain about having chronic neck pain. One in two American adults experience it off and on, but not chronically.
In the era of self-diagnosis and Googling our symptoms: it can be easy to blame that crick in the neck on something serious.
One minute you feel a tingle, and the next Google search? You are certain you need spinal surgery or have cancer.
But before you go calling the paramedics for your chronic neck pain, it is important for you to rule out your habits and other parts of your lifestyle practices as a potential cause. Scroll down to learn more about five common neck ailments and their causes.
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1. The Most Common Crick in the Neck: Work and Lifestyle Woes
Living in this technological time, your neck is getting a lot of use. For starters, it is responsible for holding up approximately 8% of your whole body's weight.
That's right: while you are working in front of that computer day in and day out, your neck is working day in and day out propping your head up to do such tasks.
Neck strains are some of the most commonly reported pains for that area of that body.
And, as much as this sounds like nagging, a vast majority of that is from screen saturation. Between working at a desk, watching television, being hunched over your phone, and your daily commute: that neck is being put into overdrive.
To ensure your daily habits are not causing you neck pains, make sure you move frequently and often. Stretching is also a key factor for making those pains go away, so try to take at least thirty minutes a to stretch out your body.
2. Neck Pain Makes Strange Bedfellows
For almost every illness, ailment, sickness, and pain people have ever had, they were all recommended at least one similar piece of advice: get rest.
However, when it comes to neck pain, how you rest may be the issue that is plaguing your body.
If you have a habit of sleeping on your couch or dozing off on the recliner, in the car, on a plane, or other abnormal places, this could be the cause for your neck pains and strains. It could even be the cause of things like tensions headaches.
If you only sleep in your bed, and have not been in an accident of any kind, and you are still coping with neck pain day in and day out: it may be time for a new mattress, new pillows, or for you to find a new position that works for both you and your neck pain.
People often overlook the importance of a good mattress and a good night's sleep. However, you have to think about how much time you spend in bed. Approximately 1/3 of your life takes place while you are asleep. Investing in a mattress and pillows that help you sleep is an investment in your health.
3. Grinding Away: Your Teeth Could be the Root of Your Problem
TMJ, the shorthand that refers to the temporomandibular joint, is the group of muscles and joints that permit you to open and close your jaw.
Over 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ damage. 90% of those people are women in their childbearing years.
TMJ damage is commonly a cause of neck pain. It often can be paired with other forms of discomfort, such as headaches, clicking or popping of the jaw, ear pains, and trouble opening your mouth. It usually is the result of stress, an injury, and can also be the result of excessive gum chewing or teeth grinding.
If you think this may be the issue causing your neck pain, take comfort in knowing small changes can make a big difference. Try applying heat to your jaw for at least an hour a day (in increments is fine). You can also try not chewing gum, buying a mouth guard, and eating softer foods.
If none of these things work, it may be something more serious like fibromyalgia or other more dire issues that you can view here. If you have the time to do as such, try to log your symptoms and what you are doing to help them, so that if it is more than TMJ, you can be ready to talk to your doctor about it.
4. Too Much Tension
Tension headaches and neck pain are similar to the "chicken or the egg" question of what came first. Some doctors believe tension headaches cause neck pain; others believe neck pain causes tension headaches. Regardless of which one causes what, one thing can be agreed upon: they are both great discomfort.
Tension headaches are caused by strain in the muscles located between your neck and skull. The beginning of these muscle strains can come from eye strain, trauma, stress, injury, grinding your teeth or your overall posture.
If you spend many of your hours in front of a computer for work, make sure the computer monitor is in a position that you do not have to lean forward or strain your eyes to see. Do not stretch to in weird positions to get to your mouse or keyboard, either.
One of the easiest ways to prevent this pain is to get up and get your body moving every 45 minutes or so.
5. When Things are a Little More Serious
Neck pain is a very common ailment for people who have received an injury of some kind. If you hurt yourself at the gym or were in a car accident, it is vital that you see a doctor for your pains instead of trying to fix them on your own.
Also, if you are doing all the things you are supposed to be doing, eating well, stretching, exercising, getting up and taking small breaks at work, &etc., and your neck is still hurting you: you need to make an appointment with the doctor.
Neck pain is commonly a starting point for other, more serious ailments, like fibromyalgia and different types of arthritis.
You Gotta Keep Your Head Up
There are just a few examples of everyday issues that could be leading the crick in the neck you have. But, remember, it is very important to be listening to your body. Most of these things are very small tweaks to your every day that make a big difference.
Remember, your body works hard to take care of you. You should try to do the same for it. Have questions or comments on neck pains and woes? Please feel free to contact us.