Non specific neck pain is an increasingly common problem and can range from an occasional niggle to constant and quite debilitating.
A key contributing factor to this increase is all around- next time you're in a coffee shop or especially on the tube you will see the majority of people looking down at a tablet, laptop or smart phone-
over time this flexed neck position teamed with the ronded shoulder posture commonly adopted to hold a tablet or type on a laptop start to cause compensations through your neck shoulders and upper back resulting in some muscles tightening and others weakening.
The common sense response to a stiff neck is to stretch it, this may give instant relief but is often short term. Often the muscles responsible are in your chest.
Your pec minor when tight pulls your shoulder forward and down and prevents your shoulder blade moving correctly.
This can increase the activity of your neck muscles, cause weakness in your upper back muscles and even cause pain to run down your arm.
So to feel better stretch your chest and ditch the Angry Birds.
- Corner stretch- in a corner- place elbows against the wall with your arms bent at 90 degree angles. Lean forward into the stretch opening through your chest.
- Roller angels- lie on your back on a long soft roller, start hands by hips palms facing up, sweeps arms along the floor overhead and back to start.
By Danny Burke