With the advent of digital technology in the information age, there’s been a continual promise to make life wholly easier. Our devices are supposed to help us accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, and more importantly, access information efficiently. The catch? These same devices strain our necks, hurt our shoulders, hands, and wrists.
There will always be unfortunate compromises with change, and neck pain happens to fall in this category. If you find yourself strained, stiff, or sore, you can ease your neck pain with these simple exercises.
Why We Hurt
Muscle stiffness in the neck can spread to your shoulders, upper back, and even arms, causing headaches and numbness in your arms. When we sit for hours in front of a computer, we tend to move our heads forward in an unnatural position. This triggers chronic stress on the muscles at the back of the neck.
This can be due to improper workstation ergonomics and poor positioning.
Some of the following exercises and stretches will ease your neck pain, and can be done while at work sitting at your desk. Others need to be performed in the privacy of your home.
Do this at home. Roll up a towel and place it at the base of your head. Let your head fall backward toward the floor and relax as much as you can. Remain this way for 10 minutes. You could use a bed or table to lay on.
Sit in a chair and place your hands behind your head. Pull your head down and bring your chin towards your chest. Hold for 30 – 40 seconds and slowly raise your head and let go.
The “Yes” Stretch
Lift your head up as high as possible and look at the ceiling. Then bring your head down to your chest like you are nodding an exaggerated YES. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Use your chin and draw a circle all the way around to one side. Then repeat in the other direction.
Forward Fold with Head Nod
Bend forward at your waist until the upper body is parallel to the ground. Hold opposite elbows in your hands and your let your head dangle. Nod a yes and then no motion.
Sit in a chair or stand keeping your neck and shoulders straight. Lift up your shoulders and then roll them backward and down. Keep smooth motions with your chin tucked in – making a double chin.
What Else Can You Do to Ease Your Neck Pain?
Many aches and pains of the neck are the result of daily habits that we involve ourselves in. Implementing a few of these small changes to your daily routine can help to not only treat current neck pains, but prevent future ones as well:
- Invest in a standing desk, especially if you work from home.
- Take regular breaks and get up and move around during the day.
- Learn how to adjust your chair. Unlock the backrest to provide movement.
- The ideal placement of your keyboard is in your lap with your shoulders relaxed.
- Invest in a palm support to sit in front of your keyboard. Even better is an articulating keyboard support.
Talk to Keith Clinic about these exercises if you experience any pain or dizziness, as they may recommend minor modifications to better suit your individual needs.
If you continue to have neck and shoulder pain, schedule an appointment with Keith Clinic.