Risk Factors For Neck Pain

What Are The Risk Factors For Neck Pain?

Neck pain is an ever increasing problem in today’s society. There are many factors associated with neck pain and many procedures like injections and surgery can cause anxiety, not to mention the pain and suffering associated with symptoms associated with neck pain like headaches and pinched nerve pain. With over 70% of the population experiencing neck pain in their lifetime and up to 30% experiencing neck pain at any given time, it is prudent to know some of the risks factors for neck pain.

If you don’t want to suffer from neck pain, odds are against you. But, with the understanding of why you might be at risk for neck pain, maybe we can look into prevention, rather than having to deal with the consequences. Some can be avoidable, some can be altered and some we will just have to cross our fingers.

Factors That Increase Your Risk Of Neck Pain

By observing the results of a scientific study on neck pain risk factors in the European Spine Journal, we can see some trends for those of us who have high risk factors and take provide some helpful tips to help prevent neck pain or use as a guide for intervention.

About 45 percent of people examined in the study described neck pain in the last year; of those, about 18 percent reported constant neck pain. Approximately 64 percent of the individuals noted an association involving their present job and neck problems. Nearly 56 percent stated their problems began at their job. About 10 percent noted sick leave as a result of neck problems. Work area, related equipment and hours had been modified for 24 percent of them because of neck pain. So, this is a significant problem.

It is pointed out that marriage status, educational level, tobacco use and also time sleeping were not related to risk factors for neck pain in this study.

Work Associated Physical Risk Factors

Analyzing the relationship involving neck pain with work associated physical risk factors indicated neck pain had been substantially related with; keeping the neck held in a forward leaning position for long periods of time, numerous quick neck motions, frequently working in a stationary posture, frequently doing exactly the same motions every minute, regularly sitting down for extended periods, dry air conditions as well as changes in temperatures, along with computer operating hours.

Frequently having a neck held in forward posture for extended periods, as well as doing work while in the exact same posture for an extended period have been considerably linked to neck pain. There’s a high relationship involving forward bending – neck flexion and neck pain, indicating an increased risk for individuals that spend a substantial percentage of working having the neck at least with 20 degrees regarding flexion.

risk for neck pain

  • An article in a 2014 edition of Surgery Technology International assessed forces to the cervical spine while tilting the head forward as seen in bad posture from computer work and using computer related devices. The author indicated this information to be important to spinal surgeons involved in neck reconstruction. The forces seen with increased postural stress can be a risk for early degenerative spinal changes and even surgery.

Repetitive motions performed frequently is substantially linked together with neck pain. Whenever undertaking work together with hands and fingers, muscle groups inside the shoulder and neck have to behave as stabilizers. Fixed contraction involving the trapezius muscle and shoulders is required to maintain the arms in a parallel position, an essential posture while working with a keyboard. This kind of muscular contraction is emphasized should there be turning or bending whenever the video display is positioned sideways from the worker, not actually in the front which is the advised placement. Pain can also be related to altering muscular activities reflecting personal motions and positions that have become habit as opposed to the effect involving the work stations only.

A substantial relationship was discovered involving posture and neck pain. Prior research identified workers who sit for over 95 percent of the time, the potential risk of neck pain had been two times greater than workers that seldom worked while sitting. The risk factors for neck pain raises along with the time period working within a seated posture, indicating a specific connection involving seated position and neck pain. Earlier research revealed a connection involving sitting for longer than 5 hrs per day and noted neck pain symptoms. Staying sitting down for very long durations, typically is coupled with altered curves involving the spinal column, which raises strain in vertebral discs, ligaments, as well as muscle tissues.

Some temperature related conditions, namely dry air conditions and variations in temperatures are generally significant risk factors for neck pain. Reports identified a strong connection involving the various factors involving the work setting and neck pain. It’s been shown that insufficient temperature ease and comfort had been linked together with neck symptoms. There’s a likelihood that individuals having neck pain could have different perceptions associated with their job environment.

Analyses regarding the relationship involving neck pain and physical aspects, indicated neck pain involved with computer system working time as one of the risk factors for neck pain.

managing risks for neck pain at amazon

Work Associated Psychosocial Risk Factors

Work related psychosocial aspects demonstrating an association with neck pain were: mental fatigue following the day, lack of adequate number of employees, non-restorative work breaks; no variance at the job, performing exactly the same tasks throughout the day, being frustrated in relation to others.

neck pain risksWomen have nearly twice the risk of neck pain in comparison to men. Individuals over the age of 30 have got more than twice the risk of getting neck pain compared to younger persons. Physical activity however, is associated with a decreased risk of getting neck pain. So, general fitness helps, along with some specific neck exercises designed to improve posture and decrease pain.

Various work linked psychosocial factors exhibited a strong connection with neck pain, yet just mental fatigue following the workday and shortage of employees had been individually connected. Reports related to lack of employees could be the indication of working overload. There’s reliable research in which stress is a risk for neck pain.

A protecting influence associated with relaxation breaks has also been noted with additional research. Breaks permit diminished computer system exposures, but particularly enable muscular relaxation and this is important to reduce a main risk factor for neck pain.

The research outcomes indicate that efficient intervention techniques seeking to minimize the risk factors for neck pain have to consider both ergonomic principles as well as mental factors. In accordance with the outcomes of this analysis, assistance needs to be used to decrease computer vulnerability as well as improving ergonomics.

Dynamic seat cushions may lead to extra variance in postures and also comfort. Using document stands and proper positioning of the monitor may minimize neck loading. Mandatory breaks can be implemented in order to decrease computer time. See more on computer related neck pain and headaches.

A study in the 2012 European Spine Journal, found that workplace bullying, sleeping problems, and high body mass index in women, and work related emotional exhaustion in men were risk factors for chronic neck pain. In both genders, previous acute neck pain and chronic lower back pain were risk factors.

Individual Risk Factors

risk factors and neck painThe occurrence of neck pain is greater among women compared to men. This particular tendency is noticed in many kinds of pain and a number of sociological, cultural as well as actual physical variations are suggested, however these concepts haven’t been confirmed to be adequate.

Small size as well as reduced strength involving the shoulder muscle groups may partially identify the gender variation. Regarding computer working, gender variations are noted; for instance women work using greater muscle loading by using increased force with a mouse as well as applying increased motion ranges compared to men. Furthermore, women typically report more signs and symptoms as compared to men.

A connection involving risk factors for neck pain was discovered regarding age. The risk factors for neck pain increases up to 50 years of age and slightly decreases afterwards. The higher risk related to age could be explained by arthritis conditions of the neck which increase with aging. A reduction in neck pain with the older aged groups is a bit harder to clarify; it could be chronic illnesses along with other health conditions may predominate or perhaps the degenerative progression has a tendency to become stable and less inflammatory as neck bones begin to fuse together.

Staying active reduces the risk factors for neck pain. Workers that exercise less often exhibited higher risks factors for neck pain. Therefore, promoting leisure time exercise may prove to be beneficial in decreasing neck pain for workers, particularly with less active personnel.

So, reduce stress at home and at work, get a proper amount of rest, exercise for general fitness as well as specific training for the neck, use good ergonomics whenever possible, especially when sitting for long periods and while sleeping to help reduce your chance of getting neck pain.

Neck Pain Help

  • A 2022 study in the journal Pain found a reciprocal interaction between depression and pain indicating depression is a risk factor neck pain, shoulder pain, back, and abdomen/stomach, rather than pain at knee, hip and face, suggesting common neurological pathologies underlying the development of depression, headache, and neck/shoulder pain.
  • A 2022 study in Ergonomics found ambient cold exposure during work was an independent predictor of neck pain as well as low back pain and lumbar radiculopathy. Cold exposure should be recognized as a possible risk factor for musculoskeletal disorders.

Author Bio

Stephen Ornstein, D.C. has treated thousands of neck, shoulder and back conditions since graduating Sherman Chiropractic College in 1987 and during his involvement in Martial Arts. He holds certifications as a Peer Review Consultant from New York Chiropractic College, Physiological Therapeutics from National Chiropractic College, Modic Antibiotic Spinal Therapy from Dr. Hanne Albert, PT., MPH., Ph.D., Myofascial Release Techniques from Logan Chiropractic College, and learned Active Release Technique from the founder, P. Michael Leahy, DC, ART, CCSP.