Pain located in the neck is a common medical condition. It can come from a number of disorders and diseases and can involve any of the tissues in the neck. Examples of common conditions causing neck pain are degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, or Nerd’s neck.
However, exercises help reduce the pain caused by crick in the neck. Exercising also improves your posture. For this, you may consult a physiotherapist or chiropractor for an exercise regime.
What do we call Nerd Neck?
Nerd Neck is a condition in which your head is set with your ears in a forward-facing position of your body’s vertical midline. This condition may develop if we bend for a long time on the computer screen or while driving. Exercising and physical therapies help in improving posture.
How to Tell if you have a Nerd neck or crick in the neck?
Stand with your back to the wall, shoulder blades and heels touching the wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Try to achieve a neutral back position. It can help squeeze your shoulder blades together and release them a few times. Is the back of your skull also touching the wall? If not, you have some degree of “nerd’s neck.”
What Causes Nerd Neck?
Many bad habits of contemporary living can cause a “nerd’s neck.”
However, Nerd neck can be caused by:
- Too much time driving.
- Carrying a heavy backpack.
- Sleeping with your head too elevated.
What are the Side Effects?
“Nerd neck” results in tight upper back muscles and weak front-of-neck muscles. This imbalance can lead to musculoskeletal or cardiovascular side effects.
However, The muscles, joints, and nerves in the neck and back fall under pressure, resulting in neck pain. The rounding of the shoulders also places an extra burden on the lower back, increasing the risk of herniated discs.
What are the short and long-term side effects?
Short-term side effects of Nerd Neck include:
- Muscle spasms.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Restricted breathing.
- Numbness and tingling of the arms and hands.
Long-term side effects of “nerd’s neck” include:
- Reduced shoulder mobility.
- Cervical spine arthritis.
- Bulging Discs.
How to Fix Nerd Neck?
Over time, Nerd Neck or Crick in the neck can be corrected through four lifestyle changes:
1. Use One Firm Pillow
Choose a sleeping pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck. If your pillow is either too high or too low, it could cause your head to lie in an overtaxed position. All night long, every night. The resulting muscle imbalance can be hard to correct.
Instead, choose one firm pillow that supports your head with your neck at a neutral position.
2. Make your Work Station Ergonomic
While many of us sit at desks looking at computers all day, most of us can make some simple, posture-friendly adjustments.
Choose a chair-desk combo that promotes good posture by allowing you to sit with your feet firmly planted on the ground, elbows at a 90-degree angle when you rest your arms on the desk.
Position your computer screen 18-24 inches from your head, with the top of the monitor at eye level, so you don’t constantly look down to see your screen content.
3. Start a “Nerd Neck” Exercise Routine
The right exercises can improve your posture and correct forward head posture over time. Perform several of the following exercises 2-3 times a day, 3-4 sets of each exercise:
- Tilt your head forward gently, touch your chin to your chest, hold for five seconds, then release.
- Rotate your head to the left until you feel a mild stretch. Hold for five seconds, then repeat to the right.
- Push your head forward until you feel the stretch through your throat. Hold for five seconds, then release.
- Gently tilt your head to the side, attempting to touch your ear to your shoulder until you feel a mild stretch. Hold for five seconds, release, then repeat on the other side.
- Pinch and massage the muscles between your ears and your collarbone for about a minute.
- Seated or standing with feet shoulder-width apart, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for five seconds, then release. Try for 10-15 reps.
How do Chiropractors Help Treat Nerd Neck?
Chiropractic services can be incredibly effective when it comes to spine alignment or posture problems. By continuously adjusting specific joints in the spine and neck, chiropractors can help to restore posture and normal motion.
Fixing the nerd neck with regular chiropractic sessions will greatly benefit your better health and well-being journey.
What are the most Commonly used Chiropractic Adjustments?
A chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, is a type of manual therapy to help to ease pressure on joints and improve the range of spinal motion. The therapy is often used to treat neck, back, shoulder, and headache, but chiropractors also treat other minor ailments. There are more than 100 types of spinal manipulation techniques used by chiropractors. Some of these techniques are gentle, while others involve the application of a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint.
However, the most commonly recommended chiropractic techniques are:
1. The Diversified Technique
The diversified technique has three main purposes: to restore spinal alignment, repair joint disfunction, and ensure proper movement and mobility. Using hands-on thrusts with extreme precision, practitioners can restore spinal alignment and increase a patient’s range of motion which may be affected by misaligned joints or bones. However, this technique is widely used, with 96% of all chiropractors.
2. Spinal Manipulation
Spinal manipulation also called manual therapy, is utilized by chiropractors and physical therapists to relieve pressure on joints, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function.
3. The Gonstead Adjustment
The Gonstead Adjustment is used to restore normal disc alignment and restore maximum mobility. It can be administered with the patient sitting up or lying on their side.
4. The Activator Method
Chiropractors commonly use a small handheld device known as an ‘Activator’ to administer a gentle impulse to the extremities or the vertebral segments of the spine.
The Flexion-Distraction technique utilizes a special table that distracts and flexes the spine in a gentle, rhythmic motion. It treats symptomatic disc injuries with back pain and leg pain.
However, the adjustment is pain-free and considered comfortable making it a great option for recent injuries or extra sensitivity to other adjustments.
6. Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression could be considered more of a chiropractic technique than an adjustment, but it is effective at treating symptoms of bulging, herniated, degenerated, and slipped discs.
However, it utilizes a special table that works by carefully stretching the spine, promoting the healthy flow of water, oxygen, and other essential fluids into the discs and throughout the spine.
What are some easy ways to prevent a crick in the neck?
There are some easy ways to prevent a crick in the neck. One should try these options:
- Choose a chair that supports the natural curvature of your spine.
- For every hour of seated work, get up to walk around or do light exercises for at least 5 minutes.
- Sleep on your side or back with your head and neck positioned in line with your body.
- Don’t sleep on your stomach since this can cause neck pain. Invest in a firm mattress that may help to provide support and alleviate pain.
- Be aware of your posture in all positions as you move through your day.
- Use a backpack or wheeled bag instead of carrying heavy loads on your shoulder.
- Apply an ice pack or heat to the affected area for 15 minutes at a time.
- Get a massage.
- If you’re a smoker, make a plan to stop or cut back.
Combining these tips for fixing nerd necks with regular chiropractic sessions will significantly benefit your better health and well-being journey.