Who hasn’t had neck pain? Is there anyone who doesn’t work on a computer or smart phone? What if your neck was stronger and more in balance? Let’s start there.
We are forward moving creatures. We do everything in front of us. This means that the muscles and structures in the front of our bodies get more use than the back. We have to work on that imbalance!
A lot begins with posture. It’s likely my favourite topic. Posture isn’t just important when you are standing still. While at your computer, in your car, talking on the phone, posture matters. Keeping your body in alignment can go a long way in preventing and treating neck pain.
While standing think of the plumb line. Ear to shoulder to hip to heel – all need to be in a line. While sitting we can consider this as well. Ear to shoulder to hip. How often do you catch yourself with your neck jutted out reaching to see the screen or book? Sometimes it’s because we don’t see well. This should be attended to so that other issues don’t arise. Sometimes we have to trust what we are seeing; we don’t have to be so close to that screen!
Practice sitting with your feet flat on the floor, to keep your spine straight. Then bring your shoulders in line with your hips. Now tuck your chin in a little and your ears should be in line with your shoulders. This can be difficult to hold. The muscles aren’t used to it, and maybe the bones are not sitting in the right position anymore. So it will take time and patience.
In the video I offer some strengthening exercises for the back of the neck. These muscles need to be strong enough to hold your head in all the positions you find yourself in. When seated, try nodding a little. When you nod, lengthen the back of your neck. Doing this throughout the day is a fantastic way to keep those muscles engaged. You can do this lying on your stomach too. Place your hands under your forehead. Do your nod, lift your forehead up very slightly, and lengthen the back of your neck. Now gravity is working against you and allowing the muscles to strengthen.
Stretching the neck is important as well. Imagine how much work your neck does all day long! Be very gentle when stretching your neck. Place your hand on your head and use it to pull the head into the position that feels most comfortable in the stretch. The neck has so much available movement, we have to be sensitive enough to feel the stretch.
In the video I also demonstrated how to hold your shoulders and some exercises to help with the shoulder blade positioning. You can’t separate the neck from the shoulder! Many muscles in the neck attach to the head and the shoulders. So include good shoulder posture as well!
Take care of your neck, it can be so debilitating when it’s sore and difficult to move!
If you are looking for more ideas, want to make sure you are working out correctly, or need treatment for an injury, let’s connect – even virtually!