How Can I Relieve My Neck Pain?

TV Posture

TV Posture

Let’s talk about one of the most common things that people aged 40+ who come to see my experience…

The sudden onset of shoulder and neck tension.

Many times it sneaks up on people without warning!

There’s often no explanation as to why you might wake up with an annoying, nagging neck one day, that can even make it difficult to enjoy daily life.

Neck pain can be caused by a number of things.

  • Spending 8 hours a day looking at a computer screen
  • Sleeping with too many pillows
  • Watching TV or even reading a book before bed

You might think that the things I’ve just mentioned are simple and wouldn’t cause neck or shoulder pain at all.

But just as with anything, if something is done again and again, no matter how small or trivial, eventually it will take a toll on your body. And it can surface a few years later down the line in the form of pain, stiffness, and tension.

This Being Said, Let’s Take a look at Watching TV…

Watching TV is something that most people do and of course, there’s nothing wrong with it!

The New York Times recently published an article in 2016 that claimed the average time a person spends watching TV is 5 hours and 4 minutes A DAY.

Even I enjoy relaxing with a good TV show before I call it a night, and I love spending Friday nights watching a movie with my four boys to end our week. It’s usually an action movie with aliens or superheroes or BOTH (my wife, Jessika, is pretty much sick of those ones). But think about the position of your neck while you’re watching your favorite shows. It’s likely to be leaning forward, or positioned at an unusual angle, depending on how you’re sitting.

But, what many people don’t realize is that the head is designed to be kept in a position where your ears are in line with your shoulders. Sometimes when we’re doing certain activities, our ears are no longer in line.

And that’s fine! Especially if you’re only doing it occasionally. But if you’re doing this every day, then you’re going to experience uninvited problems such as tension as time goes on.

So What Can You Do To Fix A Stiff Neck Before The Tension Gets Worse?…

To start, while watching TV, be aware of your neck posture.

If you happen to notice that your neck is leaning forward, tuck your chin down towards your neck and chest. This will help to straighten your neck.

Another thing you can do as soon as you wake up is to take a hot bath or shower and gently stretch. Muscles love to be warm and hate being kept stationary.

There are also activities such as yoga and pilates that you can consider taking up. These are great for your posture and can even reduce the risk of neck pain due to the amazing AND relaxing strengthening exercises.

For more ways and advice to ease neck and shoulder pain, click below to collect your free tips report.

Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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