Neck pain is one of the most common types of chronic pain. Occasional soreness after a long day of sitting with poor posture is usually nothing to be worried about and goes away with a little time and home treatment. However, prolonged neck pain can occur when you have a condition or injury in your neck.
When you have pain in your neck, it doesn’t always affect the entire neck. In many cases, people complain of only having neck pain when looking down.
What causes neck pain when looking down?
Neck pain when looking down can occur for a few reasons. It’s best to visit a health care professional like a physical therapist for an examination instead of trying to diagnose yourself.
Some of the most common causes of neck pain when looking down include:
- Strain — Strain is the leading cause of neck pain. The muscles can be strained due to overuse in physical activity or from poor posture, such as when sitting at a desk hunched over all day.
Strain is an increasingly common problem for people because of smartphone usage. Instead of staring down at your phone when using it, try holding it more toward eye level to help prevent straining your neck.
- Herniated disc — Repetitive strain or an injury can cause one of the discs in your spine to herniate. This means that the fluid from the disc has escaped and is spreading around the spinal canal, which puts painful pressure on the nerves running through the spine.
- Arthritis — Arthritis is the degeneration of cartilage tissue in your joints, which can include the joints in your spine. When this happens, it can make it painful for you to look down or in other directions.
Treating neck pain when looking down
If your neck pain is connected to poor posture, then this is one of the first things your physical therapist will focus on. Correcting your posture can help reduce strain and prevent neck pain.
Additionally, your physical therapist may guide you through treatments like:
- Therapeutic strengthening exercises
- Gentle stretches
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Joint mobilization
Visit Continuum Wellness for neck pain treatment
Do you feel like you always have neck pain when looking down? It’s time to visit a physical therapist for help, so you can get back to enjoying your daily life without neck pain interrupting it. Contact our team today for more information about neck pain when looking down or to schedule an initial appointment.