We are glued to technology all day every day. Whether you are texting, scrolling, or sitting at your desk at work, chances are that you are hunched over…looking down.
We are talking about becoming hunchbacked (which I jokingly call hunchback of Notre Dame’s).
A hunchback, also known as Kyphosis, is an excessive curvature of the spine resulting in rounded shoulders and a forward neck. It is not always as dramatic as the movie depicts; it may even go unnoticed when it is in the early stages.
No one wants to look deformed and correcting our posture is the best way to start.
There has been a term called “tech neck” that has been floating around for a while. I’m sure you can imagine what that implies – being on your phone or computer all day. It may sound silly, but it can begin to negatively affect your everyday life. It can cause headaches, stiff neck, pain in between the shoulder blades, and numbness in your hands.
We had a client come in not too long ago who was feeling a great deal of neck pain. She described it as a sharpness only with certain movements that comes and goes, she made a good call by coming in to see us when she did.
Although the neck pain was not constant, she decided to come in because the stiffness that she was experiencing began to affect her while she was working and sleeping.
Like many of us after the pandemic, she is working from home… at a desk…for eight hours or more… typing away with a bent neck. It is easy to slouch while you are at home since you want to be as comfortable as possible.
But what is causing “poor posture”?
Poor posture can be due to several reasons:
- Pain that you already have somewhere in your body that results in you just positioning yourself so that you feel more comfortable.
- Weakness of your core muscles.
- Bad habits that lead to poor posture.
Poor posture that causes neck pain can be attributed to joint stiffness, muscle weakness, or nerve entrapment types of problems.
The right therapist can perform a thorough evaluation, find out the root cause of the neck pain, and work to provide a solution.
If you have tried stretching and stretching your neck but still have neck tightness, you may NOT have a muscle problem. Stretching might feel great at the time, but it is NOT the root cause of your neck problems.
If the neck pain feels like it is traveling, or you begin to have hand numbness or hand cramping, this usually indicates a nerve issue.
Everything in our bodies is connected, nerves that begin in the neck can end all the way down in your hands. This can cause that pain in your neck to trickle down all the way to your fingers.
Getting to the root cause of your neck pain can help you determine what works best for you.
Stretches are great but your neck pain might NOT be going away because you are…
- doing them incorrectly
- doing them in the wrong order
- doing them in the wrong direction.
If we sit hunched over with rounded shoulders for prolonged periods of time our bodies will start to adapt to those positions. Certain muscles will begin to tighten and others weaken to be able to support that slouch.
Knowing exactly where the problem is, allows you to do the right corrective movements that make the biggest changes, fast.
Let’s be honest, no one is going to be sitting or standing up straight all the time. Asking you to always have “proper posture” would just be unrealistic, however, there are steps you could take to make it a bit better.
Here’s what you can do to get started:
- A lumbar roll in your lower back or mid back depending on where you may need it most. Try out a few areas and see which feels comfortable for you.
- Breaks are great…make them every 30 minutes if you can.
- Get rid of the tightness before they become painful through gentle stretching.
In addition to the tips we suggest, occupational/physical therapy is by far the best, safest, and most effective way of tackling and overcoming your neck pain.
Where to find the right therapist?
Finding the right therapist to help you get to the root cause of your pain will save you time.
With the help of the experts here at Hands-on-Therapy, you’ll not only find the root cause of the neck pain, but we help you get clarity on what you can do to get rid of neck pain once and for all.
Our occupational/physical therapists will equip you with the tools to maintain your pain-free life by giving you a tailor-made program suited to you personally.
Occupational/Physical therapy experts will mobilize your joints to relieve stiffness, give you corrective movements to strengthen and stretch based on your body type, and help you keep lasting results so that you can enjoy the life you deserve.
If you’re unsure about where to start, or you feel discouraged by the daily pain you’re enduring, contact us today.
You can also fill out the form below to speak to one of our therapy experts and find out how we can help you eliminate your neck pain today!
We’re here to uncover the hidden causes of your neck pain so that you can work without pain, sleep in any direction that is your favorite, and not ensure you will not have a hunchback look as you get older.
Written by Hoang Tran
About the author – Hoang Tran – an expert in occupational therapy
Hoang Tran is a certified hand therapist, the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services, and the author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand, neck, and shoulder problems because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!).
The aim of her Miami occupational therapy clinic is to help her clients live active pain free lives, without pills, injections, or surgery. Occupational and Physical Therapy are offered at Hands-On Therapy by our experienced therapists who provide a comprehensive approach to your care.
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.