Today’s world is centered on the use of technology. Whether it is for business or pleasure, the use of computers and/or phones is rampant across our culture. Though these are wonderful inventions, they come with some cons. The biggest one I will discuss today is our biomechanics and posturing while using these devices, factoring into having neck pain.
A lot of patients with neck pain have what we call “forward-headed posture”, which means instead of having a normal curve of the cervical (neck) spine, this curve is straighter than it should be and the head sits more anterior (forward) than it should along the anatomical plane. This is generally due to prolonged static posturing while using technological devices and/or reading. Unfortunately, a lot of people are unaware of their body mechanics; therefore the dysfunction gets worse. But today, the focus will be on some simple neck stretches that can help with neck stiffness while at work on the computer all day.
The three neck stretches I will go over today are the upper trapezius stretch, levator scapulae stretch, and scalene stretch.
- Upper trapezius (upper trap) Stretch – Place one arm behind your back and while maintaining upright posture and looking straight ahead, gently pull head to opposite shoulder of the arm behind back. Hold that position for 30 seconds to a minute as needed. Then repeat for the other side.
- Levator Scapulae Stretch – Place one arm behind your back and while maintaining upright posture gently pull head to armpit opposite of the arm behind back. Hold that position for 30 seconds to a minute as needed. Then repeat for the other side.
- Scalene Stretch – While maintaining upright posture, place hands on the collarbone and depress it, then look up and over the opposite shoulder. Hold that position for 30 seconds to a minute as needed. Then repeat for the other side.
These are some neck stretches that should help with your neck stiffness while using devices. Come see us at Jones Physical Therapy to get to the root of your neck pain.