Video Transcript

Many of the worst things you can do to your neck are common, everyday actions you may never think about. Working to break these practices can do a world of good for your neck. If you’re currently living with neck pain, it's a good idea to consider whether you're regularly engaging in any of the following harmful habits.

Looking down.
Between angling your head forward while driving, staring down at your laptop screen, and texting throughout the day, you’re placing a great deal of pressure on your neck. These actions may seem insignificant, but the frequency with which we engage them adds up over time and can result in major damage to your neck.

Constantly tilting your neck forward can lead to a range of problems including ongoing neck pain and soreness, severe upper back muscle spasms, and even the early onset of arthritis in your neck. Staring down for excessive periods of time is referred to as text neck overuse syndrome.

Your likelihood of developing text neck can be reduced by spending less time with your head angled down. If you have a job where you have to be on a computer for long periods of time, setting up your desk or workstation ergonomically can reduce the overall strain on your neck.

Smoking and any nicotine intake.
Of course, there are many reasons not to smoke and you've likely heard quite a few of them. But what you may not know, is that smoking can provoke degenerative disc disease in your cervical spine.

In a study, it was found that smoking can accelerate the degeneration of the discs in your cervical spine. These spinal discs depend on nourishment from the microvascularature or small blood vessels on either side of your spinal discs. Smoking can damage these blood vessels inhibiting oxygen-rich blood from reaching your discs and potentially accelerating their degneration.

Sleeping on your stomach.
Your preferred sleeping position can greatly effect the overall health of your neck. Sleeping on your stomach places the most stress on your neck, as this position usually requires you to turn your neck sharply to the side, and brings your neck out of alignment with the natural curve of your spine.

If at all possible, it's better to sleep on your side or your back. If you must sleep on your stomach, using a flat pillow, or no pillow at all, can help to minimize the overall strain on your neck muscles.

You may not be able to break all of these bad habits at once but start by kicking one habit at a time and you may find significant relief from your neck pain. Thanks for watching and until next time, stay healthy.