It is your body telling you that something is wrong- and most likely it is something to do with your lifestyle. The head is the heaviest single structure in your body, weighing between 10 and 12 pounds. In normal circumstances, this weight is being pressed downwards on the spine, creating a compression that strains intervertebral discs. The cervical spinal segment is the first section of spine to receive this compression, and the strain manifests itself in stiffness and neck pain. If you then add poor posture, like text neck, to the mix, you increase the amount of downward pressure that your head causes to your spine. Over time, cervical discs become more susceptible to this pressure and, if they succumb to it, conditions like herniated discs become a reality.
Gravity is not going away. The only choices you have are to ensure that the downward pressure caused by your head remains minimal, and to actively seek out decompression. One of the best ways to do this is through spinal traction- a modality that applies a distracting force to the end of a given spinal segment in order to relieve pressure in the musculoskeletal system. At our office in Milpitas, we practice cervical traction using a specialized table that creates the traction through computerized control. But you can recreate the decompressive effect from home using a foam roller. It goes like this: Lay down and place the foam roller at the base of your skull; gently turn your head to the right and left; let the foam roller create the decompression.
The health of your spine should always be a priority. If your neck is consistently stiff and sore, you could be on a dangerous road toward degeneration that can only be mitigated by action in the here and now. If you need help creating a plan to account for your neck pain, give our office in Milpitas a call to schedule an appointment today.