Do you look like you have a pain in the neck? If so, you’re not alone. Sometimes neck pain, stiffness and soreness manifest themselves as a visible hump on the back of the neck. Luckily, relieving the neck strain that leads to a neck knot generally does not require anything more than taking time to stretch and relax.
Understanding Neck Pain
The average human head weighs between eight and 12 pounds. We’re used to carrying this weight around, but many people suffer from neck problems due to additional strain and stress. Persistent neck problems can lead to additional problems throughout the body. However, minor neck and upper-back pain, including stiffness, soreness and the appearance of a neck hump, are fixable.
Determining the Cause
Excessive neck strain and muscle tension can be attributed to stress, bad posture and ergonomic issues, or may be the result of an injury.
Bad ergonomics, such as tilting the head at an uncomfortable angle while working at the computer, can lead to neck pain, stiffness in the neck, headaches, tight muscles, shoulder pain and tension. Working in bad lighting can lead to poor posture, contributing to muscle strain in the neck and shoulders. Carrying stress in the jaw and neck, caused by tensing the neck muscles and/or clenching the jaw, can lead to muscle tightness. All of these sources of muscular tension contribute to the formation of a neck hump.
Treating the Problem
Though stress is sometimes inescapable, you can eliminate or lessen the severity of stress-related neck knots.
Over-the-counter pain remedies may alleviate neck and shoulder pain, but do not treat the underlying tension. Instead, simple stretching exercises can eliminate the muscle tightness that can lead to the formation of a neck hump.
Slowly turning your head from side to side is an easy and effective ways to lessen neck strain. Another simple stretch is to rest your chin on your chest, and hold it there for three or four deep breaths.
If you spend excessive time at a desk or computer, the biggest way to avoid neck problems is to take regular breaks. Get out of your chair at least every 40 minutes and walk around. Close your eyes to relax them. Do a few rounds of head turns and shoulder rolls to release tension from the neck muscles. Remember that all neck exercises and stretches should be done in smooth, controlled motions.
Proper ergonomics can increase your work comfort level, removing the risk of neck strain, tension and the resulting hump. Adjusting the height of your computer chair or monitor can lessen neck strain and make a huge difference in alleviating muscular neck problems.
Seeking Outside Help
Unless caused by accident or injury, a neck hump is not a serious medical problem. However, if regular stretching and exercise do not help relieve the stiffness in the neck, if the hump appears to be getting worse or if you experience serious pain when stretching, it may be time to visit a medical doctor or chiropractor for an evaluation.