We have to accept that technology (computers, laptops, mobile phones) has gifted us the cervical issues that most of us face, age no bar. It’s not just the 9 to 5 desk jobbers that have this but even the children and the elderly. And while we might curse technology to be the bane, or even try to detox for a while, this ain’t going anywhere…we just need to learn to live with it.
We can protect ourselves and learn to deal with it with a few ground rules to be followed explicitly.
1. Maintaining a correct neck posture : It is essential that your head is evenly rested on your neck. The skull is the heaviest part of your body, supported on your atlas, which is the topmost vertebra with just the neck muscles to support it. Jutting our head ahead while working on a computer, looking down whilst texting on the phone causes constant tension on the neck muscles, which fatigues them. This is what induces the cervical pain.
2. Do not sit for a long time : Take a walk every 20mins, pull your shoulders back and slightly tip your head back. While working on the computer, one tends not only to tip the head towards it but also rest of the body. The shoulders will also curve inwards and rarely is complete back support taken. When the scapula (back of the shoulder) muscles develop laxity it creates further strain on the neck muscles.
3. Do Yoga :
1.The ‘Makrasan’ twice a day. : It’s a yoga posture that creates traction for your neck. It eases the tension, relaxes the neck muscles as well as creates more mobility. Start with a count of 20secs and take it upto 2mins.
2. Bhujangaasan : this yoga posture is for the strengthening of the spine. Alleviates stiffness of the lower spine.
If you already have a major cervical issue please consult your doctor before starting this.
4. DO NOT do the chin tucks : Lot of physios who subscribe to text book rules will prescribe this as the perfect traction but if you are in pain , this will only serve to elevate it. But any physiotherapist who wants to give you long term relief will wait till you are pain free to attempt this.
5. Do basic neck and shoulder strengthening exercises :
a) Wrist rotations : Hold your arms infront of you and slowly do 10 inward followed by 10 outwards rotations.
b) Angel wings : Stand against the wall, flatten your hands to the wall palm upward in a 90 degree angle and gradually move towards the ceiling and down.
c) Interlock your fingers behind your head and exert forward pressure while you use your head to push the head backward, this will strengthen the neck muscles if done regularly.
Don’t slouch, walk tall is what our grandmother’s used to say and it can’t be more true in today’s world. We need to be self-aware and make sure we exercise correctly to keep ourselves in good cervical condition.
Read The Times of India article – click here