What is the cause of back and neck pain?
Think of how you sit at a computer. Imagine a straight, vertical line running from the top of your head all the way down your back. If your posture does not align in this way, you are straining muscles that weren’t made to be strained. You may not notice it, but your head is a heavy thing; a straight neck allows that weight to be distributed evenly across your upper body. But if your head juts forward, the neck and upper back bear the whole burden.
While these parts of your body are doing all this extra work, the upper chest, or the pectorals, become underdeveloped. Restore the balance by making your pectorals more active. The stretches listed below do exactly that.
The best cure for back and neck pain is improved posture over a long period of time. There is no easy cure-all, but there are some easy steps you can take every day to improve your posture and reduce pain. Here are a few helpful stretches that can provide temporary relief:
- Stand in a doorway and place your hand on the frame on a spot above your head, keeping a good posture. Keep your hand in place and move forward slowly. Your arm will be holding onto the doorframe behind you, and you will feel your chest become broader as it stretches. Hold for ten seconds and repeat at two other positions: one with your arm reaching down to a spot below your waist, and another in the middle, with your arm reaching out perpendicular from your body. Repeat for the opposite arm.
- Stand with your feet aligned with your shoulders. Reach behind you and clasp your hands together; move them upwards behind you and feel your shoulder blades coming together. Push as far as you can go, breathing evenly, and hold this stretch for about twenty seconds.
This type of pain is unpleasant, I know—but don’t get overzealous when searching for relief! Stretch only to the point when you feel a bit of strain and no further.