Sometimes, perhaps even often, the causes of neck pain are pretty obvious. After you’ve been in an auto accident, or if you took a hearty knock on the sports field, you don’t need to ask. It’s pretty easy to draw a straight line from that event to the pain in your neck. Sometimes though, it’s not quite so obvious. You may actually be surprised at some of the things that can cause neck pain. Here are just a few surprising examples:
The Tie You Wear
Here’s one just for men. If you work in a professional environment and your dress code requires that you wear a tie, make sure it’s relatively loose. Often, men wear their neck ties too tight, and this can reduce blood flow and circulation to the muscles in your neck, which can lead to pain, cramping, and swelling. Most people don’t connect the dots and assume that it’s something to do with their posture. It’s true, posture is often a contributing factor, but don’t overlook the humble necktie, which could be causing more trouble than you imagine!
At the other end of the dress code spectrum, there’s the flip-flop. These summertime shoes are wildly popular, but really bad for your body. In addition to the fact that they have no cushioning or support for when you walk, because they are so open, you’re required to change the way you walk in them if you want to keep them on your feet. Your toes have to press downward to maintain contact, which pulls your posture forward. A couple hours walking in flip flops can give you an ache from your lower back all the way up to your neck.
How many times have you seen this scene – you walk past someone’s office, he or she is on the phone and typing, with the cell phone propped up by an exaggerated “shrug” motion, so he can keep it up next to his ear. It doesn’t take much of this before you develop a powerful, painful “kink in your neck.”
The bottom line is that the things we wear and the way we move our bodies throughout the day can have enormous impacts on our bodies. These impacts often manifest themselves in the form of pain, if we’re moving our bodies in unnatural ways, or constricting the flow of blood. It pays to pay attention.