Why does my neck hurt?
Do you feel tightness and discomfort at the end of your workday? Or maybe a dull, achy sensation in your shoulder? Pain in your wrists or hands? What could be causing this?
In the world of more advanced technology and handheld devices, plus the seated job, our bodies have unfortunately suffered. Because everything we do is in front of us, it forces us to have our head and neck in a forward position. This strain on our muscles can eventually lead to neck, shoulder, mid-back, low-back and even wrist and hand pain. Why? Well, the muscles that support our neck and shoulders are constantly being pulled on and weakened, while tightening up the muscles in the front of our chest. This can create an imbalance in our upper body…which can lead to pain.
You’re probably wondering, how can my handheld device lead to shoulder pain? Well, as the head is pulled forward, this also pulls the shoulders forward in a rounded position, which can lead to pinching of the tendons in your shoulder. When we are in the same position for hours on end, this can create limitations in the shoulder, which may include pain, stiffness, and sometimes tingling and numbness in the arm and hand.
The tightness that occurs in the neck muscles from prolonged positions can often lead to tension headaches and neck stiffness.
So…what can we do about this? We are creatures of movement, so moving – in the proper patterns, can help us avoid and counteract the potential aches and pains that can come from being in one position for too long.
A good balance between strengthening the weak muscles surrounding your neck and upper back, and stretching the tight muscles, will lead to a resolution of your symptoms.
Just a few helpful tips you can try on a daily basis:
Shoulder rolls-move your shoulders forward and backward, about 10 times in each direction. This will loosen up the shoulder muscles.
Upper trap stretch: tilt your head to the side, with the arm holding onto a chair, and you should feel a stretch in your trapezius muscle. Hold for 30 seconds, 3 times each side.
Shoulder squeezes: sitting up right with arms bent at your sides, squeeze your shoulder blades back, holding for 5 seconds, 10-15 times. You will feel a stretching sensation in your chest as your shoulder blades squeeze together.
These exercises are general, however, if you have any pain with these – then stop doing them. If your pain or discomfort persists for more than a few days, please make sure you seek help from a healthcare professional.
For any additional questions or for more information, feel free to reach out to me via phone or email! I would love to help you find a solution to your pain.
What other effects can bad posture have on us? Stay tuned for my next blog post…“How can my child’s posture affect their sports or activities?”
Cheers to your health,
Shaheen Siddiqui, PT
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"We help active adults and athletes get back to doing the activities they love, without relying on painkillers or injections."
Shaheen Siddiqui, PT
Specialist Physical Therapist