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Do You Have 'Stress Neck?'

Do you ever find your shoulders hiking upwards to say hi to your ears?  Aside from the "tech necks" we see so much today, due to overuse of technological devices and looking down for long periods, another common posture that people take on could be labeled as "stress neck."  

What Is Stress Neck?

Stress neck can be noticed when there appears to be no neck at all!  This, of course, is an exaggeration.  Actually, it has nothing to do with the neck except that it causes neck pain.  What's happening is an issue with shoulder stability, otherwise known as scapular stabilization.  When the scapulae are not stable, the shoulders can easily take a hike upward.  The reason this can be labeled as stress neck is that we often hike our shoulders up when we're stressed, causing neck tension and shoulder pain.

This isn't a posture that most of us maintain all the time.  This is more of a position we hold at certain times, but a lot of people make a habit of it without much awareness.  An example of the opposite position of the shoulders would be to look at a ballerina.  Have you noticed how ballerinas look like they all have long necks?  It has nothing to do with their necks, but it has everything to do with shoulder stability, something that ballerinas are taught to help with balance.  

How to Achieve Scapular Stability

If you've been hiking your shoulders up throughout the day, such as while bent over while performing physical labor, typing quickly while working to meet deadlines, or even while carrying your grocery bags, you may experience soreness and tension in the neck and shoulder areas.  Strengthening the following muscles can help take the load off of your neck and shoulders:

  • Serratus anterior
  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius 
  • Levator scapulae

Pilates and yoga are two great ways to strengthen these muscles and to build a strong shoulder girdle.  A chiropractor is another great option for helping to bring your body back into alignment, especially since the neck may need adjustment from this habit being repeated.

Chiropractic Care for the Shoulders and Neck

A chiropractor can help a great deal with shoulder and neck tension and pain by manipulating the spine and bringing it all back into alignment.  This may take several sessions, and the chiropractor may suggest doing exercises at home or fitting some exercise classes into your schedule.  If you're concerned about the costs of seeing a chiropractor, you may be surprised at how affordable chiropractors have become.  For example, The Joint Chiropractic offers your first consultation and adjustment for just $29.  There's no need to live with constant tension and pain in the shoulder and neck. Find a chiropractor today and find some solutions.  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Jacksonville, N.C.

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