Sitting Is The New Smoking – How To Avoid Neck Pain

In our last blog, we discussed the causes of neck pain and how, if not addressed it can have a negative impact on our lives. In this post we are again discussing neck pain, however, focusing on how we can avoid and address neck pain on our own at home or at work.

We discussed several causes of neck pain in our last post, with the two main causes been either trauma or repetitive stresses. Trauma is obviously something that we do not intend to incur during our lifetime, however, if someone rear-ends you when sitting at a stoplight it is something that we simply cannot avoid. Both in our last blog and in our ‘How to self help guide’ on our website we have discussed at length how to manage acute pain, by following the R.I.C.E formula and seeking the appropriate medical attention immediately.

In this blog, we are going to focus more around repetitive stress and how we can and should manage it to avoid suffering from neck pain. The average amount of time we spend sitting or been in a sedentary state varies from study to study, but the average time ranges from 7-12 hours a day. This has coined a new phrase in the medical profession, stating that sitting is the new smoking as the long-term effects of sitting are like that of smoking. So, let’s start here and discuss how we can minimize our time sitting and the benefits we will feel from it.

Sitting, over time simply breaks us down causing symptoms such as neck pain. If you read our last post, we discussed the importance of good posture and balanced strength within the muscles that keep us in good posture. The best way we can avoid sitting too much is by standing. The goal here is to try and break up how much we sit and to change positions as much as we can throughout the day. If you already have a stand-up desk, start using it, and build up to 20-/40, which is twenty minutes sitting and forty minutes standing. If you do not have a stand-up desk speak with HR about how you can go about acquiring one.

Over 80% of brain activity comes from movement of the spine, simply, motion is life. If we are sitting and/or simply not moving, then we are essentially dying. We discussed the importance of full range of motion in the joint and tissue to avoid compensatory issues occurring and causing neck pain. So, when at work take movement breaks to make sure the spine, nervous system and soft tissue is moving and healthy. Try spending just five minutes in the morning and afternoon going through some basic range of motion exercises, such as taking your neck through the 6 planes of motion (up/down, rotate left and right and laterally bend left and right) for a minute in each direction. This will stimulate both the joint nerve and soft tissue and meet your required basic movement for the day.

Sitting over long periods of time changes the function and health of the soft tissue in our bodies. Once this degenerative and compensatory pattern begins, we start the process of becoming symptomatic. Two ways we can address this is by stretching addressing imbalances through postural education. Both can be done at home or at work with basic exercises. If you look to our website, and download the ‘How to self-help guide’ it will take you through all of the appropriate stretches and exercises we should be trying to do daily when sitting at work.


If you have been reading this blog and are thinking ‘I have tried all of these methods and I am still suffering from neck pain’, the next step would be to give us a call and come in and get evaluated. Procrastination is the thief of health, and unfortunately the longer we leave a problem, over time it just gets worse.

Here at Advanced Health Chiropractic we have helped thousands of your Chicago land friends and neighbors with all forms of neck pain and have allowed them to get out of pain and start living life as they should be able to, without restriction. We pride ourselves on delivering a detailed and thorough Initial consultation, including a detailed health history, orthopedic and neurological exam followed by some state of the art imaging, which allows us to pinpoint your issue, offering a clear diagnosis and a tailored course of treatment addressing the root cause of your issue setting you up to achieve all of your health and wellness goals.

We use a blend of chiropractic care, and physical therapy to achieve your goals, including state of the art spinal traction and soft tissue therapy, which allows us to offer objective long-term results. If you are suffering with neck pain, have tried other forms of treatment with other providers and are frustrated with trying to get it corrected I encourage you to give us a call so we can help you live life as its intended, pain-free. We look forward to meeting you here at the clinic and be the resource you have been searching for.

          Best Regards,

                    Dr. Luke Stringer.

(312) 987-4878