You’re a textaholic
Bad posture is one of the leading causes of neck pain. (Try these 7 easy fixes to improve your posture.) The more time you spend with your head pulled forward or down—the very position your neck takes when you’re glued to your phone—means more work for the vertebrae of the lower neck. This also stresses the muscles of the upper back as they balance out the movement of your head. (Learn more about how texting hurts your body.) Try to keep your phone as close to eye level as possible to avoid this neck strain. The same goes for desk jockeys: When sitting at your desk, look straight ahead. Your eyes should stare at the top of your computer screen. If you need more leverage, use a few hardcover books to make your screen sit higher than you. Don’t miss these other ways to help your body recover from sitting at a desk all day.
You’re super stressed
Stress is a pain in the neck. “As stress goes up I definitely see more patients with neck pain. Every year around tax time the number of patients with neck pain increases, especially among Wall Street types here in New York,” Robert Gotlin, DO, director of orthopedic and sports rehab at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, told EverydayHealth.com. (Don’t miss these other ways stress can make you sick.) Muscle tension is one of your body’s default reactions to every day stressors. Sharpen your awareness of how stress is affecting you and take measures to relax—for the sake of your neck (if not your sanity). Take up a yoga class or practice meditation. Inhale positivity and exhale stress. If yoga isn’t your thing, try these other 8 great ways to de-stress.