Preventing Injury to Neck and Upper Back

by Wendy on March 17, 2015

Almost everyone has dealt with some level of neck pain and without knowing and understanding the cause, the odds are good it will occur again. Neck pain is often caused by prolonged strain on upper back and neck muscles due to poor posture or spending a long amount of time in one position. Good PostureWhile neck pain can also stem from other sources, there are certainly some steps you can take to decrease the odds during your daily routine by reducing the strain put on your neck and upper back muscles. Here are a few methods that you can practice to avoid the pain later:

  • Become more aware of your posture and try to maintain proper posture as much as you can during the day. Old habits like poor posture can be hard to break, but if you start with one suggestion at a time and focus, you should be on your way to a decreased incidence of neck and upper back pain!
  • If you spend a lot of your day sitting, make sure that you get up and move around to take stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes.
  • Complete some regular neck and postural muscle stretches if you have been doing a lot of seated work and/or notice some tightness beginning in your neck and upper back muscles.
  • Make sure that if you work at a desk or workstation that it is set up ergonomically to reduce the strain on your neck and upper back muscles.
  • Work on strengthening your postural muscles with a couple easy exercises like the following:

Bilateral Row- Use either a resistance band or a row machine in the gym. Face the anchor, pull arms back, pinching shoulder blades together at the same time. Hold 1-2 seconds. Slowly return to start. Repeat 10-12 times, 2 sets. Do 3 days a week.

Standing or Seated Scapular Retraction- With arms at your sides, pinch your shoulder blades together. Hold for 8-10 seconds. Relax. Repeat 10 times per set. Do 1 set per session. Do 2-3 sessions per day.

The Lateral Neck Flexion Stretch- Slowly tilt your head toward one shoulder, then the other. Hold each position for about 5-10 seconds. Repeat 3-4 times per set. Do 1 set per session. Do 1-2 sessions per day.

Chest / Bicep Stretch- Grasp your hands behind the back and squeeze shoulder blades together. Slowly raise and straighten arms to what feels like a comfortable stretch. Hold this position for about 15-20 seconds. Repeat this 3 times per set. Do 1 set per session. Do 1-2 sessions per day.

Neck Rotation Stretch- Turn the head slowly to look over one shoulder, then the other shoulder. Hold each position 5-10 seconds. Repeat this 3-4 times per set. Do 1 set per session. Do 1-2 sessions per day.

Corner Stretch/Pectoralis Muscle Stretch- Standing in corner with hands just above shoulder level and feet 16-20 inches from corner, lean forward until a comfortable stretch is felt across chest. Hold 20 seconds. Repeat 3-4 times per set. Do 1 set per session. Do 1-2 sessions per day.

Practicing great posture is the main key in preventing upper back strain and pain. Make sure that you are aware of your posture, and try not to slump your shoulders. Doing this will help support your back muscles, and keep you from experiencing sometimes very painful back pain!

Wendy

Wendy

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
My name is Wendy and I'm one of the main contributors to our blog. I'm a retired elementary school teacher who's found a new passion for all things relating to health and wellness. If you feel like your body is not in the place it should be, join the club! We're here to help get you where you want to be in a long term way, and avoiding any extreme diets in the process. We believe in natural sustainable methods to reach a state of homeostasis. We want to get our body, spirit, and soul into prime shape and really start loving ourselves! Wendy's favorite product is Raspberry Ketone 1234
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