Bad posture can be the common reason for a neck spasm. It can produce wear and tear on the neck joints and damage to the cervical spine supporting the weight of your head. However, you can rest assured that you probably won’t need a trip to the doctor to cure it.
Unless you were the victim of blunt trauma to your upper body, unlike chronic pain in the neck, a neck spasm is not usually an indication of a more serious problem.
Neck spasms are essentially very tight muscle contractions, sometimes called a ‘Charlie horse’. They are most often caused by what we at LosetheBackPain call Forward Head Posture. If you typically sit all day long during one activity or another with your shoulders and back hunched, if you carry a heavy backpack or large purse, of if you always drive with your head more than 2-3 inches from the car seat’s headrest, you were probably suffering from the effects of Forward Head Posture. This is probably what led to your neck spasm.
This type of incorrect posture puts quite a bit of stress on your neck muscles. Over time, they can get fatigued and just give out. If you have been employing the bad habits associated with Forward Head Posture for a long time, you can even suffer from a slipped disc.
A slipped cervical disc is what can happen when pressure is unevenly placed on the vertebrae along the neck. The disc, which is there to provide a cushion between the vertebrae, and become compressed, dried out (from loss of water), and even tear. This is of course quite painful to endure and can eventually lead to osteoarthritis.
If the slipped neck disc eventually protrudes enough to pinch a nerve, causing you chronic pain unless you actively try to reverse the effects of it.
The good news is that this process takes years, and you can reverse it at any time by correcting your posture and regularly stretching your neck muscles. A neck spasm is an indication that you have a muscle imbalance in your neck and are probably living with pain associated with Forward Head Posture without realizing it.
At LosetheBackPain, we have Muscle Balance Therapy to help you correct it and prevent a neck spasm in the future. In the meantime, you can ice your neck down, take our safe, non synthetic pain reliever that will relieve your neck spasm without any side effects, and stretch the muscle as little at a time to get it to relax.
Try to massage the area or get someone to massage it for you. If you can do neither of these, take a hot shower. The heat will help to relax you and in the process relax the tightly contracted muscle. Remember that stress plays a significant role in creating the neck spasm, so it is important that you try to do things that will reduce your stress levels. Do something you enjoy.
For a non-traditional approach to a cure, check out LosetheBackPain for advice.
Written By: Updated: June 29,2011