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Neck stiffness and neck pain

Published by
April 28, 2022
Is sedentary work really unhealthy?

Neck strain!

Ouch! A sudden jolt of pain every time you try to turn your head. The sensation of wearing a neck collar. Neck strain is fortunately harmless, but can feel quite uncomfortable.

Neck pain is a symptom of something in the neck not working properly. It could be a muscle that has become stiff and immobile, or a facet joint that is locked in the vertebrae of the neck. There are many causes of neck pain and they are almost impossible to pinpoint because there are so many variables. If you wake up in the morning with neck pain, it's easy to think that a "crooked" sleeping position could be the cause of neck pain. It is impossible to control the position of the neck when we sleep and therefore some sleeping positions cannot be singled out as 'worse' or 'better' than others.

When it happens, the first thing to do is to find a way to be in the pain and get through everyday life without isolating yourself at home in bed. The best thing you can do is to stay active, move your neck gently within the pain threshold, for example by going for a walk and try to do some simple neck exercises during the day. Avoid cooling your neck by using an ice pack, but instead keep your neck warm by moving it. Painkillers can make it easier to keep your neck active. Office work can be challenging with a sore neck, but in general, calling in sick and withdrawing from socializing at work only prolongs the pain. It can be difficult to find a comfortable sitting position and it can be beneficial to work with frequent breaks and changes in posture throughout the day.

How to prevent neck strain and neck pain?

Well, neck pain and neck pain can occur from many things, and prevention is therefore also a more generalized, rather than individual exercises or adjustments. First and foremost, it's all about movement and letting the muscles in the neck "relax". There are several yoga exercises that do just this e.g. dog stretch where you have the opportunity to "let go of the neck" and "let your head be heavy". Strength training and stretching of the shoulder and neck muscles will have the same therapeutic and preventive effect. Be aware of your sitting position when working at a computer, if possible change your working and sitting position every 30 minutes and make sure the top of the screen is at eye level. Avoid working on a laptop without a separate screen or keyboard as much as possible, as this will force you to sit with your neck bent. Light neck exercises where you pull your chin back (double chin) and from that position, slowly rotate, bend and side bend your head can also help prevent neck strain.