Office work can be a pain in the neck...literally. Sitting, working at a computer and using a telephone can all put stress on your body and increase tension in your neck and shoulders. Neck and shoulder tension can result in headaches and tenderness, pain and stiffness in your head and neck. To help prevent tension, it is important for your office surroundings to have good ergonomics. When sitting at your desk, your feet should rest comfortably on the floor and you should be eye level with your computer without having to slouch or strain. It’s important to take a few minutes every hour to get up and get away from your desk to stretch your legs and give your eyes a rest from your computer screen. There are stretches you can do at your desk to help alleviate neck tension.
- Side neck stretch - While sitting up straight, reach your right hand over the top of your head and place it on the left side of your head. Gently pull your head down toward your right shoulder. Hold for 5 deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
- Clasped hand neck stretch - While sitting up straight in your chair, interlock your fingers and place your palms on the back of your neck. Tuck your chin to your chest and gently pull down. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
- Cow face pose - While sitting up straight in your chair, reach your right hand straight into the air and let your hand fall behind your head between your shoulder blades. With your left hand, reach around and grab your right hand. Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
If you continue to have symptoms from tension, stress and headaches it may be a good time to talk to your doctor about treatment options including massage, physical therapy or medications. The doctors at NewSouth NeuroSpine are here to help you with any concerns you may have.