Neck and Neck
By Sydney Nalamliang
In a race for causes of neck pain, old age and working on a computer all day are neck and neck for the lead. Pains in the neck and back are two feelings that I, and I’m sure many other students, are all too familiar with after a year of Zoom classes and online schoolwork. Throughout the day I often find myself stretching my neck at odd angles to relieve tension during class.
We spend all day sitting and often don’t notice when we’re in a slouched position. The best way to fix this is to maintain an upright posture that won’t cause strain on the muscles or joints, which can be done by making sure your screen is placed at an angle level with your line of vision. This will help keep your head and neck in a position that causes little to no strain. The easiest method I’ve found to keep my computer level with my eyes is to stack a few books on my desk and place the computer on the stack. That way, your head isn’t angled down (or up) to look at the screen, but it’s rather in a neutral position.
Another way to help relieve neck pains is to do some stretches. Two of the best stretches that are easy to do in class are:
● Side neck stretch: sit up straight and keep your head in a forward neutral position, tilt your head to the left and use your left hand to help press down gently on the top of your head until you can feel a slight tension between your neck and shoulder. Hold this position for a few seconds. Repeat this stretch on the right side and do this a few times on both sides.
● Head rolls: sit up straight with your shoulders straight, tilt your chin down to your chest until you feel a slight stretch in the muscles in the back of your neck and in your upper back, slowly roll your whole head to each side, keeping your face downwards.
Here’s a video from Ask Doctor Jo on YouTube that shows some other neck stretches: Neck Pain Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo
Old age isn’t a factor we can control, but taking care of your body while you’re young can help prevent further unnecessary injuries. The most important steps you can take to stop neck pain are remembering to take breaks and to keep your body healthy. Stay safe, warriors!