In our tech-centered world, it’s easy to spend hours a day slouching over desks or smartphones. But you might not realize how that slouching contributes to your neck pain.
All those hours of hunched shoulders become a new way of sitting, and eventually, your body adapts itself to your constant shoulder slumps. It can literally change your anatomy.
For most of us, our heads and shoulders jut out slightly when working at the computer. It may not seem like much, but it puts pressure on your spinal column, leading to pain.
Then, you probably spend another hour or two a day bent over your phone.
These habits contribute to neck pain because you’re straining your neck and shoulder muscles for hours at a time. Your neck’s muscles, ligaments, and joints are stressed, so your upper back has to work harder to support your head.
You can make lifestyle changes and improve your posture in several ways.
If you sit at a desk, ensure it’s the right height. Keep your chair and your monitor at eye level. An optimal ergonomic workspace helps keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and eyes straight ahead. That keeps your neck in alignment.
When texting or scrolling, hold your phone at eye level.
Regular exercise, like stretching and light resistance training, can strengthen your body, including your upper back. Stronger muscles better support your head and neck and reduce or prevent pain.
Even shoulder stretches while at your computer can help loosen your shoulders and neck muscles. Look over one shoulder and then repeat a few times a day. Practice shoulder rolls forward and backward too.
Avoid sitting in the same position for hours. A University of Michigan study suggests taking your hands off the keyboard for 10-20 seconds and moving your fingers every ten minutes. Every hour, take a 2-5 minute break for movement and stretching.
Pull your stomach in when you stand, tuck your tailbone, and relax your shoulders. Imagine you’re balancing a book on your head. Maybe you even try balancing a book in private. See how long you can maintain it!
Depending on your condition, we can recommend physical therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, radiofrequency ablation, or other treatments to ease your pain.