When experiencing periods of stress or long hours of teleworking, it is possible to experience the sensation of tension in the neck and shoulders, a condition that can be alleviated with a routine that integrates stretching and mobilizations, at least twice a day.
Prevention and Care
The uncertainty generated by the pandemic, work pressure, or family concerns, are factors that can generate stiffness or muscle pain in the neck, causing discomfort when turning the head, lifting objects, or trying to keep the head straight in front of a screen. A bad habit in the face of this type of ailment is self-medication with anti-inflammatories, an action that “is not recommended, since it prevents discovering and treating the cause of the pain, in addition to the side effects that any medication may have,” he says. Michael Wulf, kinesiologist at Clínica Bupa Reñaca.
Neck muscle pain can last for several days, especially if bad practices are maintained such as being in front of a screen for many hours without rest or bad postures, so to alleviate discomfort it is recommended to lengthen the affected area, tilting the head and neck, rotating it from right to left and vice versa, in addition to performing flexion and extension movements with maintaining the position for 10 to 15 seconds each.
Another alternative to relieve pain is to apply heat to the affected area, always with caution to avoid burns. To achieve this effectively, the kinesiologist recommends placing seed compresses that generate moist heat on the area for 15 to 20 minutes a day. “If after performing elongation movements the pain persists, it is necessary to go to a medical consultation, since the consequences of an injury in this area can lead to severe muscle contractures with pain on a scale of 1 to 10 out of 5, which generate decompensations and antalgic postures (a position that a person adopts to avoid pain) that can trigger other secondary injuries ”, warns Wulf.
To alleviate or prevent neck pain, the kinesiologist recommends performing the following movements daily, preferably upon waking up or before the telework shift. head and neck flexion and extension: Move head and neck back and forth for 15 seconds.
Head and neck tilt: Tilt your head slowly from right to left for 10 to 15 seconds.
Head and neck rotation: For 10 to 15 seconds, rotate the head from right to left trying to touch the chest with the pear. Repeat another 10 to 15 seconds starting from left to right.
Shoulder rotation: With the arms extended and close to the body, raise and lower the shoulders in a circular way for 10 to 15 seconds.
Stretch arms: At the end of the routine, take the right elbow behind the head with the left hand and press down. Then, perform the same movement taking the left elbow with the right hand, for 10 to 15 seconds each arm. When finished, extend the right arm across the chest towards the left shoulder and pull with the left arm in the form of a lever, passing under the extended arm. Repeat the action with the left arm and hold both positions for 10 to 15 seconds each.
Stretch on awakening: One way to prevent or alleviate incipient neck pain consists of each day when waking up to perform “free movements of the head and neck in all planes of movement: circles, inclinations, rotations, flexions and extensions”, recommends the kinesiologist.