Neck pain and back pain are the leading cause of lost workdays among musculoskeletal problems.
Waking up with a crick in your neck can be anything from a mild annoyance to a safety risk if it affects your driving. Although most episodes will clear quickly, occasionally you might find yourself with a persistent crick. In these cases, your osteopath can help. A crick is a mild muscle strain or ligament sprain. Sometimes they seem to come out of nowhere, but if they keep coming back, we want to work out why. It is possible that one area of the neck is overworking to compensate for somewhere else. Stiffness elsewhere in the neck or back or tightness through the muscles in the shoulders could cause a local restriction. The body still wants to keep its usual range of movement, so makes up the loss through unaffected areas. These areas are then at risk of overloading. Alongside treatment for the pain and an investigation into the original cause, your osteopath may also offer you first aid advice. That way, if the crick returns, you might be able to prevent the development of something more uncomfortable.
Work Posture and Neck Pain
Sitting in one position at a desk all day is bound to cause aches and pains, even if that position is “perfect”. Whether working in the office or at a laptop on the sofa, it is important that you are not putting too much strain on your neck. The head is heavy, so the neck copes best when it is balanced upright. You can encourage this by making sure your screen is not too low. Ideally, your eyes should be level with the top of the screen. This is hard to achieve on a laptop that is indeed on your lap. If it is not practical for you to dedicate a specific workspace in your home, you may be able to adapt to another space temporarily. Something as simple as a stack of books can be enough to raise the screen to save your neck. Even better, if you have a second screen or separate keyboard and mouse, you can create a relatively ergonomic work station. Neck pain associated with working from home can be managed by your osteopath. If you can bring a photo of your workspace set up, we may be able to offer more specific advice.
In a similar vein, spending too much time looking down at your phone will irritate the neck in the same way. But this is about resilience as much as anything else. If you needed to hold you head in this position for long periods of time, we can support you in developing an exercise regime to strengthen the relevant muscles. However, it’s worth mentioning that the phrase “tech neck” or “text neck” suggests this is a modern problem. A couple of generations ago maybe it would have been called “newspaper neck”.
Osteopathy for your Neck Pain
Osteopaths are qualified to diagnose and treat your non-traumatic neck pain. You don’t need a referral from your GP. Whether it’s a persistent one-off episode or something that keeps coming back, we can help.