Have you ever wondered why it’s almost impossible to find a grown adult who hasn’t experienced some form of neck and back pain? The simple answer is that neck and back pain is insidiously sneaky. Instead of hitting you immediately, it opts to punish you over time for small mistakes in your day-to-day life. The truth is that you’re probably hurting your neck in a lot of ways you don’t even realize. Have you been having problems with neck pain? Perhaps some of the following factors have played a role:

Using the Wrong Kind of Pillow

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just have one pillow for everything and never have to worry about whether it’s secretly betraying you while you sleep? Unfortunately, no one can be trusted. Ideally, when you sleep, you want your neck to be aligned in a “neutral position,” as in, you want your neck in its most natural curve possible. Using a pillow that’s too fat or too small will result in your head being pushed too far up, or too far back.

The trick is adjusting your pillow to your sleeping position. Flatter pillows are better for back sleeping, while you’ll want something more hefty if you’re on your side, so it can prop your head up to be in line with your spine.

Sleeping in a Bad Position

Similar to the point above, your sleeping position has a huge impact on your neck and back. Consider how uncomfortable it is to sit in an unnatural position for just a few minutes. When you sleep, you’re effectively doing this for eight hours, but you don’t adjust yourself because you’re not conscious for that time. This takes a toll on your spine and back.

Generally, sleeping on your back is the ideal recommendation for neck and back health. But if you can’t do that, sleeping on your side is a good substitute. Make sure you’re doing it right though! On your back, resting your arms on pillows will help to take pressure off your neck. On your side, you’ll want your head aligned with the spine, and it’s good to have a pillow or divider between your legs.

You’re On Your Phone Too Much

As smartphones have become a staple of our society, we’re going to have to prepare for the onslaught of neck-related problems they’re going to usher in. The bottom line is that constant phone use is detrimental to your neck health. Typically, people tend to crane their neck downwards while they look down at their phone, usually at or beneath chest level. It shouldn’t be a mystery as to why such prolonged periods of this would strain your neck—it’s not a natural position.

Consider using your phone less, or if you simply must use it, bringing it up closer to eye level where you can look at it without moving your neck. You might look a little more silly, but we’ll see who’s laughing in 20 years, right?

Your Desk is Poorly Set Up

This one applies to the many Americans who work at a desk every day. Your daily setup might be straining your neck, which, of course, is not a good thing when it takes up eight hours of each day. First of all, make sure your computer is at eye level, in such a way where you don’t need to look down (or up), even slightly, to see it. You’ll also want to make sure your chair is adjusted in such a way where you have good posture. One great tip for back and neck health is to invest in a desk that can convert to a standing position; being able to stand up for prolonged periods of time can be a huge boon to your neck and back.

You Haven’t Seen a Professional

Neck and back pain is something that nobody should have to endure. At Aspire Rehab Topeka, we offer chiropractic and physical therapy services to aid your tired spine. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and we’ll treat your pain with the utmost care.