We’re all guilty of it in some form. Carrying out tasks that put unnecessary strain on the neck. Whether that be craning our neck over our laptops all day while working, reading a book in bed slouching, loading our lumbar spine (that’s another story), or walking from our daily public commute texting or scrolling through socials or digital news – hence the name! Even now, as I’m tapping away at the keyboard I’m conscious of the pull at the base of my neck. The main cause, weight.
Perhaps you’d be interested in discovering just how heavy our head is and how much of that weight our neck takes when our head sits out of alignment?
When the head hangs forward in the ol’ “text neck” the neck is bent causing the weight in the cervical spine to increase. But what does this mean for our long term spinal health?
We have evolved to being quite sedentary creatures spending less of our days upright and instead in a rather unnatural seated posture. Left unchecked these behaviours cause severe long term issues.
But it’s not complete dire straits. Why don’t you join me in taking 5 (or better yet,10) away from the screen and integrate some spinal health exercises into your day?
1) Chin tucks: We’ll start with the most comical. Think, the angle you never want captured on camera. Yes, it’s the formidable double chin. Draw your chin toward your neck while lifting from the crown of the head. Twenty seconds of this when you think of it, will do wonders for your neck flexor muscles.
2) Chair squats: this one is about your posture as a whole because ext neck affects more than just your neck. As you strengthen and become aware of your total spinal alignment you’ll start to prompt yourself to correct it. Three sets of 10-15 squats spread throughout your working day is optimal.
3) Resistance rows: once you’ve secured your band around something sturdy, the tubing is taut, and your knees are slightly bent begin rowing with your elbows no more than 90 degrees. Three sets of 10 is desirable. Don’t forget to squeeze your shoulder blades to strengthen the upper back.
4) Mid-upper foam roll outs: Laying on your back place the foam roller under your mid-back, perpendicular to your spine before rolling slowly over it up to where your shoulders meet your neck. After a few minutes you can reposition the roller parallel to your body, under your spine, and open your arms to rest on the floor. Rock gently from side to side, for about one to two minutes. This one is perfect to do before bed after a long day at the desk.
Hopefully, with these simple exercises, you see improvement in your posture and experience pain relief. However, it is important to tune in and tune-up. So, when you get those niggly muscle messages or persistent headaches don’t forget to come and see us. Neck pain tends to respond well to different mobilisation techniques, manipulation, dry needling, soft tissue massage, taping and exercises. We’ve got you covered.