I see a lot of clients due to neck pain. Often this neck pain is due to our society and technology and sitting in front of the computer for many hours during the day. Most neck pain does not occur from “sleeping wrong” but more often from what we are doing during our waking hours.
Here are my top four tips to help relieve neck pain.
1. Check your desk set up. If you work at a computer for most of your day make sure your screen is just below eye level, your feet are supported, and your desk and chair are at a good height for you. Working on a laptop for long hours is often the reason my clients have neck pain. Whether you work at a laptop, desktop, or both, make sure you take lots of breaks during the day and move. Our bodies were meant to move so when we sit or stay in one position for most of our time our muscles get stiff and start hurting. This picture shows the ideal desk set up and you should model your workstation as close to these guidelines as possible.
2. Side neck stretch (upper trapezius stretch). This muscle often gets tight as we sit and stare in one direction for many hours. Be gentle with this stretch, it should never hurt. If using your arm feels like too much just hold your neck to the side for a short time to stretch it.
3. Angled neck stretch (levator scapula stretch). This is another muscle that often gets tight from working in one position for a long period of time. Again, be gentle with this stretch, and if it’s too much don’t use your arm to help stretch. There should never be pain with stretching.
4. Get a massage or see a physical therapist who can massage your neck and give you stretches specific for your body and your situation.
As always, these are general guidelines and recommendations, and nothing replaces an online or in person assessment with a professional.
Please share this with your co-worker or friend who is always complaining of neck pain and headaches.
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