Causes of Neck Pain at Your Desk and How to Alleviate It with These Stretches
The cause of your neck pain if you just get it at your desk is likely to be a postural problem. It could also be as a result of a poor workstation set up. I would recommend reading over our workstation blog and our how to improve you posture blog . Also if you are getting pain or tingling down your arm(s) I would advise seeing a physiotherapist.
In my clinic I see a lot of desk workers with problems with their levator scapula muscle. As you can see in the below diagram, the muscle attaches on both sides from the top of the shoulder blade (superior angle) onto the transverse processes of the upper 4 neck bones.
Over activity of this muscle will give you pain in this distribution:
We tend to find that over activity in this muscle coincides with weakness in the lower trapezius muscle. A muscle that we concentrate on strengthening in our Clinical Pilates sessions.
To alleviate your symptoms make sure your arm is resting and supporting on something like your chair arm when you are using your mouse. Avoid holding your phone between your ear and your shoulder while you type.
Stretch the muscle by looking down and towards your opposite armpit, at the same time push the shoulder down.
Hold this stretch for up to 20 seconds and repeat 5 times (stop if you feel dizzy). Heat on the muscle will also help relax the muscle and ease the pain. If you don’t improve your posture and increase the strength of your lower trapezius then you will continue to suffer with the same problem. If you haven't already signed up Try our 14 day free trial.