Do you have aching pain in your upper back and shoulders, neck stiffness, numbness and tingling down your arms, or headaches? Injury, poor movement in your neck and upper back, or over work of your neck muscles may be the cause of your discomfort.
Neck injuries can occur with an injury event such as a fall on ice, rear end car accident, or a crash on the slopes. However more commonly the start of neck and upper back pain is not as obvious and is a gradual progression of symptoms. The winter weather brings not only snow but our busy business season. Long hours at our computers can flare up underlying neck problems such as degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, or bulging disks.
Here are a few tips to protect your neck.
- Schedule time to exercise. Maintaining your exercise routine and staying active will help boost your mood and give you more energy as well as change your dominant posture of sitting at a desk or bent over your work.
- Protect your spine. Making a conscious effort to sit and stand tall can reduce neck pain. Check your posture:
- Feet flat on floor with knees bent to 90 degrees.
- Sit tall in your chair with support across your low back
- Keep your shoulders back and head over your body
- Place your computer monitor at eye level and straight in front of you at your desk
- Get professional advice. If significant pain limits sleep, work, or your ability to perform activities physical therapy may help. Physical therapy can offer hands on techniques and exercises to regain lost motion and strength.
Research studies show physical therapy treatment that emphasizes core, shoulder, and neck stabilization to correct poor posture can improve function and can significantly reduce pain. Make time this busy holiday season to exercise and take care of yourself. If you have any questions about neck pain or if physical therapy is right for you, please call Ascent Physical Therapy (970) 949-9966 in Avon, CO or (970) 328-5230 in Eagle, CO.