- Posted by David Coulson
- On February 15, 2021
Neck pain and tightness has become a common theme in patient presentations at First Choice Health over the last year. We have seen an increase in the amount of people working from home (thank you lockdown) and developing neck tension and often head aches due to either poor home office set up or just spending too much time at the desk.
The neck is particularly susceptible to increased stiffness and tightness when doing tasks that are in sustained positions for long periods of time (particularly head bent to look down at a computer / laptop screen). This is because the neck needs to support the head; and, if the ergonomics and posture are not optimal, the muscles and joints of the neck and upper shoulders begin to tighten and become inflamed. This can lead to the nerves in the top of the neck becoming irritated resulting in pain in the neck which can also radiate into the head (a condition known as cervicogenic headache).
Physiotherapy aims at correcting the postural dysfunction with educational strategies and exercises to help relieve the cause of the problem. Your physiotherapist will often also use manual soft tissue and joint mobilisation techniques to reduce stiffness in the neck and shoulders to give symptomatic relief and reduce tension and pain. This can result in feeling “looser” and reduced and relieved headache symptoms.
Your physiotherapist may also talk with you about building up some core strength in the neck and upper back. This involves simple exercises that can be incorporated into your work day, to increase the strength and endurance of these muscles and optimise your postural position in front of the computer.
It is important to address these issues as soon as possible to prevent long term issues. If you are experiencing neck tension or pain, or headache type symptoms, give First Choice Health a call and one of our experienced physiotherapists will be able to help you. You don’t need to put up with neck pain and headaches anymore!