shoulder SOS – Modern times, modern afflictions... Back, neck and shoulder pain affect many working in office jobs. Find out what to do about it.
3 min. read
Neck pain is a common problem. Quite often it is associated with a lack or underuse of neck muscles. Stress and/or a physically repetitive or static work situation can also damage the neck.
Neck pain can be extremely painful and radiate to other areas In most cases, the reason for neck pain is simple. It results from untrained muscle groups and strain – especially if you spend large amounts of time sitting at a desk in the same position. Psychological factors such as working under stress can also contribute. Even athletes can suffer from neck pain, due to weak muscles, as upper thoracic training is not neck training. These muscles need to be addressed specifically.
Neck pain – what are the most common symptoms?
Sore neck muscles - an unpleasant symptom
Problems in the lower neck can radiate to the shoulders or upper arm regions. Pain in the high cervical region of the neck can lead to headaches or other symptoms such as dizziness or even reduced range of motion.
Have someone show you how to best exercise your neck muscles
Self-medication with muscle-relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs should not exceed a few days. If pain radiates to the lower arm for more than a few days, we recommend you consult your doctor.
The best way to prevent pain in the neck and shoulders is to exercise to strengthen your muscles. Also, if you have to sit in an office all day, try to move around frequently. Much pain and time spent fixing the pain can thus be avoided.
Be proactive about preventing neck pain
What matters most in preventing neck pain is using your own potential to strengthen your muscles.
Release tension at the gym or with exercisesFuel up on oxygen to prevent tense muscles
Work out in order to counterbalance your monotonous or non-use of muscle groups in the neck.
Watch out for psychological stress or pressure at work and try to avoid it. Factors such as stress or loading yourself with too much work or responsibility can greatly contribute to tenseness.
Find out what your personal triggers of stress are and what you can do to reduce them.
TENSE MUSCLES ARE OFTEN THE RESULT OF STRESS
If you work in an office environment, use any chance you have to move around and get some exercise.
Walk or cycle to the office, take the lift... Getting enough oxygen also helps to relax muscles and can prevent stress from building up in the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
Dr. Gerd Müller, expert and orthopaedic specialist
“When we do not use our neck and upper back muscles as much as they are meant to be, these muscles weaken and shorten, while others become very tight.
“YES, ALL OF US HAVE NECK MUSCLES AND WE CAN TRAIN THEM TO REDUCE NECK PAIN VERY EFFICIENTLY.”
After a while, this tightening may manifest itself in pain and discomfort around the neck and upper back area. Applying heat to the area can alleviate the pain by increasing blood flow.”
You might also want to try the specifically designed neck exercises in our video library to strengthen your neck muscles and prevent further pain.
Please note that none of the above tips replace professional medical advice. Consult a health expert in case of an injury or if you suspect overuse of joints or a medical condition such as a fracture.
A physician should be consulted in those acute cases when the condition is accompanied by reddening, swelling or hyperthermia of joints, ongoing joint trouble or severe pain and/or it is associated with neurological symptoms (e.g. numbness, tingling, loss of motion).