Tightness of neck muscles is prevalent, owing to bad posture. It is also one of the significant causes of neck tension, stiffness, and pain in the neck.
Prevention of tight neck muscles–
- Ensure good workstation ergonomics- The laptop screen should be at eye level. Keep your forearms supported while typing.
- Do not carry heavy purses on your shoulders. Use backpacks.
- Do not hold the phone between your ear and shoulder. Use hands-free earphones instead.
- Do not use a thick pillow. Use a thin one instead.
- Maintain good neck posture. It is crucial as the neck supports the weight of the head. Avoid looking at the phone by bending your neck. Bring the phone up at eye level.
- Avoid any mental stress as it leads to tightness in neck muscles. Use mental relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, progressive muscular relaxation.
- Doing frequent neck stretches in a desk job helps to relieve tension in the neck muscles. Take breaks in between.
Exercises to relax your tight neck muscles–
- Upper Trapezius Stretch– Start by placing your right arm behind your back. Grab it with your left hand and pull it in the direction of your left foot. Now tilt your left ear toward your left shoulder, and you will feel the stretch on your right Upper Trapezius. Hold for 10-15seconds and repeat five times on each side.
- Ear to Shoulder Stretch– Tilt your neck sideways and try to touch your shoulder with your ear until a stretch is felt on another side of the neck. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat ten times on each side.
- Shoulder Blade Squeeze-Stand with arms by your side and pull your shoulders back by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold this stretch for five seconds and repeat five times.
- Shoulder Rolls– Stand straight with arms by your side. Roll your shoulders forward and backward, ten times in each direction.
- Clasped hand lift behind the back– Stand straight and clasp the hands behind your back. Keeping your elbows straight, lift your arm. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat ten times.
- Prone Y’s and Prone T’s– For Prone Y’s, lie facedown on the floor and extend your arms in front of you to form a Y shape with thumbs pointing up. Lift your arms, hold for 5 seconds and return to starting position. For Prone T’s exercise, lie on the floor face down and extend your arms out 90 degrees to your sides. Lift your arms from this position, hold for 5 seconds and slowly return. Do ten repetitions each for Prone Y’s and Prone T’s.
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