5 ways to prevent Neck and Upper back pain

Five ways to prevent Neck and Upper back pain

Neck and Upper back pain can affect all of us at one time or another in our lives. So here are 5 easy ways to help prevent it occurring.

As a rule we have quite sedentary lifestyles and the use of mobile phones, laptops and computers plus driving, cycling and looking after small children can maintain a position of arms forward and head up.
We may hold this position for hours at a time. This can lead to fatigued muscles and inflamed joints.

What can you do to prevent this?
These ‘overworked’ muscles and joints need a break regularly. Muscles need fresh blood with oxygen and nutrients and joints need to be moved to increase the lubrication of synovial fluid within the joint itself.

1. Take a break from your desk regularly– ideally every 30 mins- and get your upper back and shoulders moving.

2. Reduce ‘Arms forward’  position. This contracts your pectoral muscles which in turn pull your shoulders forward. Stretch your pectoral muscles regularly at work, after driving, cycling.

Neck Rotation exercise

Neck rotation exercises

3. Get your neck moving .If you are making sure your upper back is moving better with exercise 1 your neck will benefit too. But gentle exercises for the neck will improve mobility too. This exercise keeps the neck still but moves the shoulders, increasing overall rotation.

 

 

 

 

4. Change how you move. If you get aching pain on one side of your neck and shoulder in particular look at how you interact with your work colleagues. Do you always turn to one side to talk to them? Do you find yourself turning to one side as someone walks past? Are your computer screens to one side? These will have an effect on your neck and shoulder muscles causing one side to work more than the other. If you can, change your desk position. Rather than turning to talk to your colleagues move your whole body and face them head on. Align your screens so they are straight ahead of you. Hopefully you get the picture.

5. Consider a vertical mouse
If you experience shoulder and neck pain on the same side as you use your mouse then this can really help. You may not believe it but your Biceps is responsible for turning your hand anti-clockwise which you do every time you click on your mouse. The Biceps can become really tight and as it is also attached to your shoulder, it can pull your shoulder forward.  This, in turn, can cause fatigue in the corresponding shoulder and neck.

Help reduce shoulder and neck pain with a Vertical Mouse

Vertical Mouse stops the Biceps from being involved completely. Patients who have used this said it has really made a big difference. Their cheap too- get them on Amazon.

I hope you have found the exercises and advice useful. Remember all the exercises shown should be pain free. If not, then just stop and get in touch and I can modify them for you.