Neck pain is a frequent symptom of poor posture and muscle imbalances. Not only can it cause large amounts of discomfort, it can also prevent you from staying active and thus be detrimental to your health. There are many issues that can cause neck pain; however, following this simple guide will provide you with a number of basic, everyday quick fixes to help you relieve tension and maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst at work.
Sitting at your desk and working on a computer for long periods of time can cause lots of tension build-up in the neck and shoulders. Being seated like this can also cause the hamstrings to tighten up, which can result in lower back pain and tightness. This in turn can cause even more issues with the neck, and so the cycle continues. The whole body is interconnected, so issues should really be diagnosed by a chiropractor to find the root cause, which could be quite complicated. However, taking a ten-minute rest every hour is a good way to relax and keep you pain-free. Use this break to grab a cup of tea or catch up with a work colleague. Giving yourself more than one reason to stop working may help to encourage you to look after yourself a little more and will make this a regular healthy habit, which could have the added bonus of increasing your productivity.
Stretching to Loosen the Strain
When muscles become tight, the opposing muscles can become weak and over-stretched. Performing regular stretching will help to loosen the dominating muscles, which can improve your posture. Muscles work in pairs to move the joints across multiple planes of movement; the biceps work along with the triceps, the chest works with the back and so on. Often, those who work at a desk hunch over, and so the chest muscles tighten and over-develop causing the back to over-stretch and weaken. Incorporating stretching into your hourly break can help to avoid this.
Weight Training to Correct Imbalances
Another way to avoid muscle imbalances is to work the weaker muscle with good quality strength training. Using bodyweight exercises, resistance machines and free weights will help to develop muscular strength. If you find you are hunching over, try incorporating more exercises like bent over rows, deadlifts and pull-ups into your workout routine. The six rep range for three sets is the sweet spot for developing strength over hypertrophy (size). Alongside this, try standing upright by engaging your core muscles and pulling your shoulders back. Try to correct your posture whenever you can and you'll soon see that you appear more confident and look more symmetrical, as well as being healthier.