Like many of you out there, I spend the majority of my day staring at a computer. All of that time has resulted in a pain in my neck, literally…
At first, I thought nothing of this pain, but as it persisted, I became more concerned with it. Perhaps I had slept funny or something. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was not from one isolated incident but from the bad habits I had developed in my everyday activity.
Bad habits can be hard to break, especially when it comes to poor posture. But, here are some tips that I have started to incorporate into my day to improve my pain in the neck:
- Stretch. Start by gently tilting your head from left to right, hold for 20 seconds on each side. Next, place your hand on top of your head and stretch your neck towards your shoulder on each side. Be sure to perform these stretches with slow, smooth movements. Make sure that you are doing it gradually, as any quick stretch is more likely to tear a muscle or ligament. If you feel increased pain or numbness, stop that motion. These simple stretching exercises can be done a few times per day while sitting at your desk.
- Shoulder rolls. In the sitting or standing position, hold the arms at the side with the elbows bent. Try to pinch the shoulder blades together. Roll the shoulders backwards 10 to 15 times, moving in a rhythmic, rowing motion. Rest. Roll the shoulders forwards 10 to 15 times.
- Sit up straight.Your shoulders should be in a straight line over your hips and your ears.
- Practice proper ergonomics. Position your desk chair and computer monitor to be at eye level. Avoid sitting in the same position for prolonged periods of time and take periodic breaks.
- Apply heat. A heating pad can provide welcomed relief after a long day of work. Apply a heating pad or hot pack for 20 minutes at a time. Avoid direct contact with the skin by using a towel between your skin and the heating pad.
- Try a massage or acupuncture. Both are great options and can provide considerable relief. I know I am looking forward to scheduling a massage through The Medical Spa at Nova!
-Posted by Kimberly Zawistoski, DO