Do you suffer from ongoing neck pain?
Do you feel tension and burning in between your shoulder blades?
Does it feel like you can't take a deep breath?
Do you often get headaches?
When we spend more and more time on the computer or on a device we tend to adopt what's called a head forward posture and rounded shoulders. With this type of postural presentation comes weakened muscles and altered spinal alignment.
If you find that your upper back and neck pain worsens over the course of the day with prolonged sitting at the computer and you want to help yourself at home then the following 3 tips will help!
Tip #1- ensure that your eyes are at screen level. If you are looking upwards or downwards at your computer screen then you are not in a neutral position. A neutral position with the eyes pointed straight ahead keeps both the bones and muscles of your neck and shoulder in a less stressed position. Less stress and strain means less compensation and repetitive strain. It is recommended that you adjust your computer screen in such a way that you can accomodate this neutral neck position for your work day.
Tip #2- regularly check in with your shoulders. Are your shoulders up towards your ears or are they relaxed? If they are up towards your ears in a more slouched type of positioning then you are shortening specific muscles that will develop tight areas that refer pain through the neck and head. It is recommended that you check in with your shoulders regularly throughout each hour of sitting and to relax them...... simply sit up tall, shrug both shoulders up towards the ears and then intentionally relax them down towards the hips. This can be done as often as you think of it so you don't develop incorrect "holding patterns".
Tip #3- learn to belly breathe. When you sit for long periods of time at a computer you are not likely mindful of your breathing patterns. Chest breathing or what is known as shallow breathing can wreak havoc on the muscles of your neck which can then become the source of tension headaches and neck pain. By taking the time to practice deep belly breathing you begin to use the primary muscles of breathing which helps to reduce the repetitive overuse of the muscles in your neck. Being seated makes it harder to take deep breaths throughout your day but with practice you can do it! The more you practice the better you will get and your neck will thank you for your effort!
If you feel like you need a treatment for chronic neck pain and would like to book an appointment with our Chiropractor and or Massage Therapist, simply call our clinic at 613-832-3335 or you can reach us through our contact page of this website.