Yoga and Stretches for Neck Pain
For many of us, the past two years have meant working from home, which means increased stress levels. Especially at the beginning of lockdown, I found myself spending more and more time on my devices; enter tech-neck.
Tech-neck can happen when you’re practicing poor posture while sitting at your computer. Or looking at your phone, especially if you’re doing so for an extended period of time. You’ll usually feel tightness along the back and sides of your neck, as well as in your shoulders. For some people, this can be exacerbated by jaw clenching and teeth grinding throughout the day, but especially at night.
Even as someone who regularly practices yoga and mindfulness, my stress often manifests itself in neck pain, which is worsened by time on my devices. My first line of defense is integrating regular neck and upper back stretches into my practice; this can be as simple as looking straight down, then rolling your head through its range of motion until you feel some stretch.
Keeping your body in motion is vital in preventing back and neck pain; for those of you whose jobs keep them at desks for a good portion of the day, especially so. This doesn’t mean you need to be running marathons; a simple walk, swim or jog after work would likely suffice. Combined with shoulder and neck stretches, exercise will help to keep your muscles limber and loose.
If you are experiencing persistent issues, I wouldn’t hesitate to consult your family doctor. You can also schedule an appointment with your massage therapist or chiropractor. I find limiting screen time, stretching, and exercise helpful in prevention, but sometimes you need outside intervention.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!