There are huge links between your neck posture and neck pain. In fact there are the 3 commonly-seen ways people are hurting their necks and causing their symptoms of neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches to get worse. Click the video below to see a visual of the following posture faults. (I also offer an easy exercise to counterbalance the bad habits.)
1st posture culprit is “text neck”. You might have heard this term thrown around but it’s a serious thing. The more our society is connected to our devices like phones and tablets, the more we’re seeing patients of different ages come in with neck pain. The angle of the necks bent while looking down can strain specific levels of the neck – causing joint pain, and even degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine. This posture also strains muscles of the neck and shoulder, and also pushes cervical discs in a very unhealthy position.
2nd posture culprit happens when we use our computers and laptops. Laptops are lower in height and it brings the viewer’s gaze downward, much like the neck angle when texting and has similar effects. Keyboard typing on a laptop is also very narrow owing to a small keyboard surface, so it also promotes a rounding of the shoulders and rounding of the upper back, exacerbating upper back and shoulder pain.
Computers fare a little better with higher monitors, however users tend to lean forward to reach their mouse or keyboard, or they simply get so engaged in their work that they hunch forward towards the monitor. This posture is bad because it shortens the muscles of the neck and strains the joints of the collarbone and thoracic spine. Chronically bad computer posture can lead to pain and tightness in the chest, upper back and neck muscles, leading to headache, fatigue.
3rd most common posture offender is when folks read books, or play with their phones in bed. Oftentimes people mistaken an extended body for an extended posture, but such us not the case if the head is propped at an angle on the headboard.
Easy fixes to postures outlines above:
- Lift your phone to your face instead of craning your neck to see it.
- Place keyboard and mouse closer to your computer so you don’t have to overreach and strain yourself.
- Move the computer monitor up closer to your level – this could mean using a monitor riser or a laptop stand.
- Invest in a docking station for your laptop so you can use a more ergonomic mouse and keyboard set.
- Read books upright in an armchair and use the armrests, a lap table or cushions to support your elbows as you hold up the book.
If you’re still experiencing pain, and discomfort in your muscles. You should consider physical therapy to help you with that. We can help massage and stretch your muscles and get your joints back in alignment, as well as prescribe exercises to suit your condition.
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