Why is work such a pain in the neck?
Posted by Paul Stephen on
Every desk worker who has spent hours at the computer knows the feeling: tightness starting in the shoulders, creeping up the neck and spreading pain between the shoulder blades and into the head. But what is so special about desk work that makes it such a pain in the neck?!
A majority of deskwork induced neck pain is related to posture. When your workspace is improperly set up, the shoulders crawl towards the ears, the middle back rounds, the head comes forward and extends on the neck (and this is only the upper body!). Even for short periods of time, this posture can be uncomfortable. But if extended periods of time in this posture are repeated habitually, it can lead to a muscular imbalance condition known as “Upper Cross Syndrome”. This is a pattern of weak cervical flexors (the muscles at the front of your neck), weak rhomboids and lower trapezius (the muscles in between and below your shoulder blades that just love to ache and burn at the end of the day), tight subocciptals (the muscles at the base of your skull, often responsible for the Tylenol-resistant tension headache) and tight pectoralis minor (the muscles in the front of your chest, which can compression on the blood and nerve supply to the arm and hand).
In severe cases, Upper Cross syndrome can lead to numb/ tingling and cold hands, chronic headaches, chronic middle back pain, shoulder dysfunction and TMJ (jaw) dysfunction.
Your Massage Therapist can help to lengthen chronically tight muscles, tone chronically weak muscles, get rid of those nasty head ache causing knots in your neck, increase range of motion and decrease neurological problems in the hands and arms. Many people experience lasting relief from desk related pain with massage treatments. However, if you return to the same dysfunctional posture day after day, the problems will return.
For Upper Cross Syndrome, the best offense is a good defense: an ergonomically aligned workspace and proper stretching and exercise routine.
Your massage therapist will work with you to identify what aspects of your workspace are aggravating your condition, and recommend rehabilitative stretches and strengthening exercises.
By combining Massage Therapy with your rehabilitative/preventative stretching and strengthening exercises, can help you of your work-related pain in the neck!