Harvard Women's Health Watch

Avoiding a pain in the neck

This common affliction can limit your daily activities if you don't take steps to prevent it.

Everyday life isn't kind to our necks. You know that crick you get when you cradle the phone between your shoulder and ear? Or the strain you feel when you crane your neck to see your computer monitor?

It's no wonder that nearly 21 million women live with neck pain. The problem doesn't start overnight. Usually, neck pain evolves over many years, spurred by arthritis and degenerative disk disease and accentuated by poor posture, declining muscle strength, stress, and a lack of sleep, says Dr. Zacharia Isaac, medical director of the Comprehensive Spine Care Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and director of interventional physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.

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