Neck Pain On The Couch

Neck Pain On The Couch

Doctor, Why Do I Have A Neck Pain After Sitting On The Couch?

The couches are often true enemies of the back and neck. Sometimes the fault is the design of the sofa itself and in others of the use we make of them. Today I will tell you the part that affects the cervical spine, focusing on the details that cause neck pain. You’ll understand.

To understand the reasons why some postures are harmful on our sofa we have to go back to our ancestors who walked on all fours. In evolution we come from these species that originally walked with all four limbs. This caused that the posture of the neck was not vertical like ours but rather horizontal. This has implications for how our anatomy has developed. The powerful musculature of the neck is in the posterior region of the neck. And not only is it more powerful but it is also attached to each vertebra giving it greater stability. This is for the simple reason that these muscles had to hold the head against gravity.

Seen otherwise, these animals did not need very elaborate muscles to carry the head forward because the effect of gravity already did this work. However, to be able to hold the head and be able to look up, we needed powerful muscles that have evolved into our species.

Humans, when walking erect, have caused some changes in evolution but not many. In essence we are still very similar to our ancestors but our habits so different have led us to have pain in the neck. The posterior muscles of the neck have become less powerful but remain the main muscles of the neck and continue without a competent anterior musculature.

Neck Pain On The CouchThis anterior musculature is not competent for two reasons:

– First because it does not have by far the power of the posterior musculature and

– Second, and equally important, the muscles of the anterior part are not attached to each vertebra, ie, they make a lever more erratic.

In the posterior area, the muscles jump from vertebra to vertebra, stabilizing the entire cervical spine when contracted. When the anterior musculature is contracted the opposite happens, a drag phenomenon is generated that does not stabilize and can damage the different joints present in the vertebrae.

And this has to do with my sofa? Look carefully at the photo that accompanies the post. When we sit on a sofa the back is tilted back and therefore the head needs the anterior muscles to not fall back. As we have commented, these muscles are not adequate to stabilize the neck and will produce a damage if we stay in this position. The two people in the picture despite how happy they are seen, probably an hour later had to take a paracetamol for neck pain and it would not be uncommon for any of them to develop chronic neck pain due to their bad habits.

We already know the position that is bad but then how do I feel? There are simply only two right ways. If the backrest is upright and the neck is balanced and you do not have to strain to stay forward, then we will have no problem. The other possibility is to have adequate cervical support in such a way that the neck and head rest in an adequate posture without having to contract the musculature.

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