Neck pain is a very common musculoskeletal condition that continue to rise. Statistics have suggested that adults will experience neck pain that interrupts their everyday activity including work, cooking, eating, playing with the kids and socializing. Since this condition is so prevalent, it would be useful to have some strategies to manage the pain and also some strategies to prevent the pain from returning.
Neck pain has much to do with how much load and stress you are putting on your neck. If your work requires you to be in front of a desk for long periods of time, the chances are your posture isn’t the greatest and therefore place more stress on the joints and muscles of your neck. If you are getting pains, you can do simple stretches to help your muscles and joints relax for a bit before continuing work. We’ve discussed this in a previous post Stretches for the Office Warriors.
Another way reduce the load and stress on your neck would be setting up your workplace correctly. This topic has been discussed in our Work Desk Ergonomic blog.
With regards to preventative measures, we highly recommend strengthen your upper back muscles to be able to sustain the load and stress which you are giving your neck. The upper back muscles that should be targeted is the trapezius. These muscles are located between your shoulder blade and extend up towards your neck.
A simple exercise to target this muscle with would be squeezing your shoulder blade together. This exercise is a beginner level exercise that targets the entire trapezius muscle. The proper technique for this exercise would be to focus more on touching the lower tip of your shoulder blade together rather than the top. This is because the upper trapezius tend to be overactive while to lower parts tend to be underactive.
It’s important to keep in mind that the strengthening process does not come overnight. You would need to continue strengthening exercises for at least 6-8 weeks to notice a difference with your pain levels. Moreover, exercises need to be progressed to make your muscles stronger.
For more tips and advice, be sure to drop by a physiotherapist to get a thorough check-up and recommendations to help manage your neck issues. At capital physiotherapy, we have friendly physiotherapist who have plenty of experience with neck related pain. If you are near the neighbourhood of South Yarra, Footscray or Balwyn, be sure to reach us by email at [email protected] or contact us at 0401 865 333 to setup a holistic program to manage your neck related issues.