Neck and shoulder problems have been troubling humans since time immemorial. However, it is only in the recent times that the percentage of people suffering from them, is on a constant rise. Given all the medical and technological advancements, this seems quite ironical but it is nevertheless the bitter truth.
So, what is it that is triggering these pains? It is largely our present-day lifestyle that has become cardinal to neck and shoulder problems. The constant use of laptops and other mobile devices along with lack of physical activity is further aggravating such pains.
Lifestyle and chronic neck and shoulder pain
Let’s face it. People are playing less and working more these days. Over 70% of the populace has a work profile which involves hours of sitting in front of electronic devices like laptops, mobiles, etc. Unfortunately, the same populace is so overwhelmed with work commitments that they don’t mind putting their health issues on the back burner.
When is neck and shoulder pain not okay?
Experiencing aches and pains are a part of life. Studies have shown that 85% of people will experience some sort of neck and shoulder pain even before they turn 30. But there is a distinction between regular pains and pains which make one’s life miserable. Awareness regarding this distinction is of paramount importance as early diagnosis can prevent a lot of hassle for the individual.
One should not delay in consulting a physician if they show the below-given symptoms in addition to their neck/shoulder pains:
- Severe pain which doesn’t improve after rest
- Persisting pain long after experiencing a fall or an injury
What actually causes pain in the shoulder and neck?
Whenever someone experiences shoulder and neck pain, it is usually due to the following factors –
- Giving more time to gadgets less time to self – When spending excessive time on gadgets like laptop, mobile and other devices, the body tends to take wrong postures. This may lead to muscle spasm. Further, lack of rest aggravates the condition.
- Spinal Stenosis – It is caused due to narrowing of one or more areas of the spine. The narrowing puts the spinal cord and its surrounding nerves to be in pressure which, in result, cause pain, numbness and/or cramping.
- Arthritis – It occurs when the fluid between two discs is reduced due to ‘wear-and-tear’ and becomes narrow. The resulting pressure to the joints (where discs are usually located), causes pain and inflammation.
- ‘Dry’ Discs – Discs help maintain the shape of the spine, they allow one’s back to move naturally and also absorb shocks. As and when one ages, the discs dry out and become less pliable which causes pain near the neck and the shoulder area.
Preventions and timely cures
Adopting a good posture and a healthy lifestyle infused with regular exercise can prevent a lot of hassle. Sitting in one place for long hours and that too in an incorrect posture should be avoided. Regular short breaks should be taken at work. Integrating physical workout in your daily routine and maintaining an ideal body weight mass minimizes ones susceptibility to shoulder and neck pain. For minimal to moderate pains caused by the frozen shoulder, sprains and sports injuries and even exertion can be treated by anti-inflammatory gels, ointments and sprays.
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