Expert Tips to Get Rid of Neck Strain and Pain

By Jayce Lee

- Most of us sit at our computers all day and as a result our head and neck usually stays in one position for a long period of time resulting in neck tension. Neck tension can be the root cause of a variety of issues including headaches and neck pain.

You may get neck tension or strain if:
1. You hold your head and neck in one position for long period of time. There are muscles that hold the neck and if we don’t move them, then this may result in muscle stiffness. By the way, this can happen to any part of the body that doesn’t receive a lot movement. One more reason to exercise regularly!
2. Bad Positioning. Your work station is not set up properly, for example your arm rest is not inline with your spine or your computer screen is not right in front of you, but is either lower or higher. You are sitting incorrectly, such with your feet up or under you.
3. You are on the phone a lot. When you are on the phone all day or most of the day, you usually have to hold your head at an angle for long periods of time.

What can you do prevent neck strain:
There are a number of postural exercises you can do. Jayce doesn’t recommend using any single exercise that is supposed to be for the neck, as this area is very sensitive to strain and if you are not doing your exercise properly, you may injure yourself.

However, there are some things you can do right at your desk:
- Maintain good posture

Stretches: 
- Do a half roll of the head to the right and then to the left. Repeat 3 times.
- Tilt head to the right and reach down with your opposite (left) shoulder. Tilt head to the left and reach down with your opposite (right) shoulder. Repeat 3 times
- Look down and very gently push with your hands at the back of the head. Hold for a few seconds
- Look to the right for 5 seconds, then look to the left for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times
- Get a headset, so you don’t have to hold your phone.
- Position yourself and your work area properly, such as having your computer right in front of you.
- Make sure you move every hour, such as getting up to get some water or just walking around the office
- Be aware of shoulder elevation. Stress, cold makes us shrug our shoulders resulting in elevation, which then may cause tightness in the muscles of the neck and result in pain. Be conscious of it, try breathing techniques. Overall relaxation will allow your shoulders to come down.

If you are able to, try a few massage treatments to relieve the strain. Keep in mind that your massage therapist will likely tell you to do similar stretches.

If you have severe neck pain, please consult your doctor.



Fitness Expert and Certified Trainer, Jayce Lee, B.P.H.E. (DEFYfitness.com)www.artoflivingwell.ca


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