If you work at a desk all day, neck pain or stiffness is almost inevitable. The not-so-technical term for this is ‘nerd neck,’ which was politely coined from gamers and people sitting at PC’s for hours on end with awful posture. In truth, we’re all a little bit guilty of it. It’s sjust too easy to have bad posture when you’re at a desk.
So, how do you deal with it?
Well, here are a few tips that should help you out:
improve your workday posture
Yes, this is the only way that you will actually see long-lasting results. It doesn’t matter how much medicine you take – or even if you follow the tips later in this post – if you don’t fix your posture, it will all be for nothing. Bad desk posture typically has you slouched forwards with your upper back rounded, causing your neck to poke forward. This puts so much stress on the muscles in your neck, which is why you’re in pain. Massaging these muscles will provide temporary relief, but if you don’t fix your posture the pain will keep coming back!
Make sure you have a setup that allows you to stare at your screen at eye level. This stops any stooping or rounding forwards, putting your neck into the correct alignment. It will feel weird at first – and it may even hurt a bit too. But, when your body adjusts to being in the correct position, you’ll notice an incredible reduction in pain.
The longer you sit at your desk, the more damage you do to your neck. So, it’s a smart idea to take breaks periodically throughout the day. Get up and walk around, but also take stretching breaks to ease the tension in your neck. This helps to elongate the muscles and relax them slightly. There’s a video above that gives you plenty of neck stretches to do at your desk! By stopping the tension from building up, you should be in less pain.
Massaging your neck is even better than stretching it as you can really get to the sticky knots. There are many methods you can use to do this, and the simplest is by using your thumb and rubbing up and down your neck. If you find tender spots, work on them by increasing the pressure slightly and almost kneading the area. Alternatively, you can invest in a massage gun to use percussive and vibrational therapy, or consider a foam roller to massage your neck while laying on the floor. Some massages can be done during your breaks, while others may need to wait until you’re home.