With many folks working from home (and often with a makeshift home office setup) I have seen more neck and upper back pain complaints this year than in previous years. When you add the healthy dose of underlying stress we’ve all been dealt, it’s not hard to see why there are some tight neck muscles out there!
Here are three keys to dealing with a – literal – pain in the neck:
Frequent stretch breaks are the name of the game here. Hit pause at regular intervals (every 30 to 60 minutes or so) to change positions and stop neck stiffness before it starts. Something as simple as dancing around your chair (as if no one’s watching of course…), and check out my favourite/recommended neck stretches here:
As a bonus, you’ll find the habit of taking frequent but short breaks also helps focus and concentration.
Be aware of your posture.
A lot of neck pain is simply the result of sitting hunched over a computer. Check in with yourself often. Are you sitting up tall, or slouching? Ideally, your keyboard should be at a height that lets your elbows sit in a 90-110 degree bend (at or below your elbows) when you’re typing.
Also, try this simple chin-tuck/chest opening exercise to strengthen your neck muscles:
Go for a walk at lunch, or any time you feel tight and your energy starts to lag. The big idea here is to mix up the body mechanics as much as possible. If you mostly sit when working, try standing for a while and vice versa, whether via a standing desk or kitchen counter.
Download the free Straighten Up Canada app for more ideas.
Finally, if your pain is persistent or gets worse, and especially if it’s accompanied by other health complaints such as chronic fatigue, vertigo, anxiety, or shortness of breath – don’t wait, be sure to have it checked out. Symptoms like these could indicate a subluxation in the cervical spine which might get worse if it isn’t addressed.
We’re open with regular clinic hours, as chiropractic is a health service and therefore not affected by the current lockdown measures. Also, we’d be happy to outline all of our current safety measures.
That’s what I have for today. Hope these tips bring you any necessary relief.
And if not, don’t forget…we’re here to help! 😊
“Dr Joshua is a true healer! Very Thankful for his Skills and Compassion.” – Jacques B.