The human body is an amazing collection of interconnected systems that, when healthy, operates like a flawlessly choreographed machine and produces movement effortlessly. But when something throws a muscle, ligament, or tendon off balance through trauma like an injury or a sprain or strain, that well-oiled machine can’t move properly, often resulting in pain and inflammation.
One of the most common sports injuries is tendonitis, but you don’t have to be an athlete to get tendonitis. While it’s true that professional athletes do suffer from types of tendonitis such as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, tendonitis can also happen to office workers, landscapers, painters, and anyone who puts their tendons through a workout of repetitive motion on a routine basis.
And you can get tendonitis anywhere in your body, including in your neck. In this blog, the highly skilled providers at Cardio Metabolic Institute in Somerset, Monroe Township, Edison, and East Brunswick, New Jersey, take a closer look at neck tendonitis and how to treat it.
Tendons and tendonitis
A logical place to start unpacking this topic is to explain what tendons are and why they’re important in the context of pain-free movement. Tendons are the thick, fibrous connective tissue or bands that connect muscles to bones.
Made of collagen, tendons function like the body’s natural rubber bands and shock absorbers. They protect the human body’s 650-plus muscles by absorbing and cushioning impact when your body moves.
Tendonitis can happen to anyone at any age. However, you’re more prone to get tendonitis as you get older because tendons become less stretchy as you age and more vulnerable to stress and strain. Common symptoms of tendonitis include a dull ache right around the joint, swelling, and inflammation.
Correcting posture issues
Although most types of tendonitis are associated with overuse injuries, when it comes to neck tendonitis, sometimes the issue is triggered by poor posture at home or on the job. In this case, treating the condition often is about not only addressing the pain, but also about making lifestyle tweaks to correct your posture when you sit, stand, and walk.
By addressing posture issues, you reduce the strain and stress on your tendons as well as your muscles and ligaments, greatly reducing the likelihood of developing neck tendonitis.
Taking periodic breaks
Similarly, strain on your neck can happen when you’re sitting, standing or looking down at a digital device for too long. This is particularly important if you spend a good part of your day or night in front of a computer monitor or looking down at your tablet or cell phone.
Remarkably, Americans spend on average seven hours and 11 minutes every day staring at some sort of screen.
Although you may not realize it, this process of reading and sending texts, watching movies on your phone, or checking out that latest TikTok video that’s trending may be presenting the perfect storm for repetitive stress and strain on your neck if your posture is off balance.
To prevent tech neck, sometimes referred to as text neck, position your device straight on at eye level to avoid looking down, take frequent breaks every 15 or 30 minutes, and try to reduce your on screen time.
Physical therapy for strengthening and healing
While taking steps to address poor lifestyle habits that may be contributing to stress on your neck is important, so is strengthening your neck muscles and making them more agile. Physical therapy strengthens muscles and makes them more flexible. It also makes them less vulnerable to strain and stress.
At Cardio Metabolic Institute, we have the ability to diagnose and treat all under one roof. We know that when you’re in pain, the last thing you want to do is make multiple appointments at multiple facilities. For our patients’ convenience, we have on-site imaging allowing us to expedite diagnosis and get your treatment plan underway quickly.
Our highly experienced team of physicians, physical therapists, and other professional staff work together to develop a treatment plan to promote tissue healing as well as relieve your pain.
If you’ve been plagued by neck strain and pain and think you may have neck tendonitis, schedule an evaluation at Cardio Metabolic Institute today. Click or call for an appointment at the office nearest you so we can help you get back to feeling more like yourself again.