Is the tech vortex causing your neck pain?!
I asked and you answered... the number one thing you wanted to learn about....NECK PAIN...
Well I am a FIRM believer that our surge in technology use and working in less than ideal office spaces is the big reason behind the increase in neck pain... Let's work our way through this.
Our head is HEAVY and needs to be stacked ON TOP of our spine. As you are reading this DO NOT CHANGE YOUR HEAD POSITION and look at how far your head is forwards off your shoulders. Another way of asking it is are your ears inline with the tip of your shoulder??
But why does this matter?? I suspect most of you are either reading this on a laptop or your phone, both of which are sucking you forwards into the technology vortex. As our head falls forwards and we are looking down at the screens, our head becomes heavier which means more weight for our neck. Our poor little neck muscles are getting a HUGE workout and they are not meant for this type of demand. I mean really, how many people do we see with 'jacked necks'?!?
Look at how the angle of our head in relation to our neck can change the amount of weight that our body has to respond to. Its not wonder that there is so much neck pain in the world right now! When you see your children, parents, partners, friends or even strangers using a device have a look at their positioning.... I bet 90% will fall into the 30 degree to 60 degree categories.
Now you are all thinking, "OK great. We know the problem and we DO NOT want to hear you talk about posture again, we get it... our posture is terrible." Luckily for you I want to go through some tips on how we can prevent it and fix it. (You have dodged my posture bullet.... for now....)
Have a look below for my tips on how to lessen the load on our neck muscles.
1. Bring your screes UP TO your face... your biceps are MUCH STRONGER than your neck muscles. Maybe even get a pillow to put under your arms to help.
2. Purchase a WIFI or Bluetooth keyboard for your laptops. Our screens from our laptops need to be place A LOT HIGHER than how they are currently being used. Lift up the laptop (on a box or something) and have the center of the screen in front of you (not looking down) and then the Bluetooth keyboard for typing.
3. Strengthen your neck!! Sometimes we have pain in a muscle that is WEAK so by strengthening the muscle we can decrease the amount of pain that area experiences.
A. Cervical Retractions: Sit or stand looking forward with good posture. Push the back of your head to the wall behind you (this will create a double chin). Hold this position for 3-5 seconds. Return to the starting position. Focus your vision on a spot on the wall to avoid looking down or up while performing this exercise. To progress this exercise, place a finger on your chin, and apply backwards pressure at end range. Imagine that your head is on drawer slides. Keep your mouth closed. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions 3-10 times per day. Alternately, this exercise may be performed standing with your back against a wall. Your buttocks and shoulder blades should be in contact with the wall. Push the back of your head until the base of your skull contacts the wall behind you (make a "double chin"), relax and repeat as directed.
B. Deep Neck Flexion: Lie on your back, with your head supported on the ground. Perform a "chin tuck" by retracting your head as you did in the previous exercise. Lift your head, bringing chin toward your chest without lifting shoulders- as though you are looking at your toes. Hold this position for 3-4 seconds. Lower your head and relax. Keep your teeth apart during exercise to decrease straining at the jaw. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions 3-10 times per day. (Active Physio Works: Deep Neck Flexors - Bing video)
**Thank you google for the use of the pictures, Active Physio for the video and Chiro-Up for the exercise descriptions**