Quarantine has been a pain in the neck for a lot of us. Around 10% of our members are struggling with neck pain. What’s causing these increases in neck pain, and how can we fix them?
Why your neck is hurting
Our head weighs about 10 pounds, and we evolved to hold it high and move it around. Today, we spend more time looking down at our phones and computers than looking up and out. Holding the same position – even if your posture is “perfect” – for long periods can be really bothersome to your neck. Tension in your neck can also cause headaches and brain fog.
How lockdown is making it worse
If you’re reading this from a laptop screen, you’re not alone. Laptop sales now outnumber desktop sales by about two to one. In an office, you might plug your computer into an external monitor, which helps you hold your head higher. But at home, you’re more likely to be looking down at that laptop screen while you sit at a dining table or on your couch. That lack of variety puts a lot of pressure on your neck.
Even when you’re not working, you’re also less likely to be using your neck as much as you otherwise would. Think about all the times your neck gets a workout in everyday life – turning your head to spot oncoming traffic as you cross the street, extending to find your car in the carpark, looking up to grab the subway pole. Your neck isn’t getting as many opportunities to move when you’re at home. Our bodies love movement, and when they don’t get it, our nervous system becomes more sensitive. Our muscles become tighter and joints stiffer.
Thankfully, our bodies have an inbuilt way to relieve and prevent pain: movement! Moving your body is beneficial in so many ways. It increases blood flow to keep your muscles limber and brings nutrients to damaged tissues to help them repair. It also releases hormones like endorphins to keep your brain happy and sharp and triggers our innate pain-relieving system, sending endogenous (made internally) opioids and cannabinoids through your body.
The exercises in the video below can be done anywhere and will give you quick relief from any neck pain you might be feeling. Remember that it’s ok if there is a bit of discomfort, but don’t push through pain when you’re doing these exercises – if you are feeling pain as you perform them, the SWORD neck program can help you rehab your muscles and relieve the pain for good.
To learn more about how SWORD can help you and your employees overcome their musculoskeletal pain, use the contact form below to get in touch!