STOP Neck Pain
 

Smart phones, tablets, desk tops. With so many of us using technology, it’s no wonder that neck stiffness is on the rise.

Most often the result of muscles that weaken over time due to poor posture and misuse, a rigid neck can affect work performance, sleep, driving, and more. Tightness and constant aches are usually associated with muscle strain and soft tissue fatigue.

The neck is not going to react properly with weakened and rigid muscles. Looking at the computer and smart phone for extended lengths, as many of us do, strains the muscles surrounding the neck joint. When you go to turn your head, it may no longer turn smoothly, lacking range of motion. The levator scapulae muscle, which runs along the back and side of the neck, is the most susceptible to straining. Common activities such as sleeping in an awkward position, slouching, tension from stress, can all burden the levator scapulae muscle.

Maintain Prevention:

  • Keep computer monitor at eye level
  • Stand up and stretch periodically
  • Sit up straight, with good posture: Shoulders pulled back and down, chest high, back straight
  • When using smart phone or tablet, take frequent breaks and avoid having neck bent forward for prolonged periods

Stretch:

  • Open up chest: Sit up straight, bend elbows and place hands behind head. Pull elbows back towards wall behind you. Pause. Do 10 total.
  • Shoulder rolls, rolling shoulders down and back, then down and forward. Do 20 total, alternating back/forward.
  • Ear to shoulder stretch. Sit up straight. Tilt head sideways, bringing ear towards shoulder, pause. Alternate sides, doing 20 total.
  • Look side to side, alternate for 20 total.
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together. Be sure to keep shoulders “down”. Do 10 total.

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