Sep 28, 2022 10:00 AM

Author: University of Utah Health Communications

Infographic explains three ways to prevent neck pain.

In this fast-paced digital world, it’s hard to be mindful about proper posture while moving through our daily lives. Yet over time, those hours of slumping, slouching, and scrolling can lead to debilitating neck pain. Here are three strategies to keep your neck and spine in good shape as you age.

  1. Go on a Tech Diet

Cell phones and tablets make life so much easier, but they can also be a literal pain in the neck. Follow these steps to prevent the debilitating effects of “tech neck.”

  • Use a screen-time monitoring app
  • Hold your phone at eye level when possible
  • Break up your screen time into short sessions
  • Allocate “technology breaks” throughout the day
  1. Optimize Your Workstation

    While at the office, it’s easy to either hunch over the monitor or slouch back into the chair. Here are some ways to avoid these positions that can put a big strain on the neck.
  • Keep your line of sight parallel to the floor
  • Invest in an ergonomic chair with back support
  • Adjust your chair so knees are about level with hips
  • Get up every 30 minutes for a quick stretch or walk

Budget Hack: In lieu of an expensive ergonomic desk, try propping your computer on a stack of books to keep the monitor at eye level. You can also use a rolled-up towel as a makeshift lumbar pillow to support your lower back.

  1. Stretch it Out

Among its many benefits, yoga is an excellent way to relieve neck pain. The key is to perform exercises that bring your head back into a neutral position. For neck pain, physical therapists commonly prescribe chin-tuck and chest-opener exercises that can easily be practiced at home.

Chest Opener
Hold a strap behind your back, pulling your arms behind you as you lift them up. Take three deep breaths, then relax to start.

Chin Tuck
While sitting in a chair, look straight ahead and gently glide your chin straight back. Hold for five seconds then relax to start.

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