Exercises to Prevent Head and Neck Pain from Zoom-itis


With stay-at-home orders in place across the country, many of us are working from home and spending a lot more hours out of the day on Zoom and FaceTime meetings. With all this extra computer time, many of our clients are starting to have more head and neck pain, stiffness or just overall posture starting to slump. 

To counterbalance all this computer time, there are stretches you can do to help balance out the musculature and hopefully bring you some neck pain relief. 

Here are our favorite exercises to try at home:

Neck Side Bend Stretch

  1. 1. Clasp your hands behind your back
  2. 2. Keep your nose level with the floor and tip your right ear toward you right shoulder
  3. 3. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Come back up and do the opposite side. You should feel the stretch along the side of your neck.

Back-of-the-Neck Stretch

  1. 1. Tip your nose down toward your right shoulder/armpit. 
  2. 2. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Switch sides. 
  3. 3. For this one, you will feel the stretch going down the back of the neck and possibly into the shoulder blade. 

Shoulder Blade Squeezes

  1. 1. Draw your shoulders back and down. 
  2. 2. Slowly, bring your shoulder blades toward each other on your back.
  3. 3. You should feel a squeeze in between the shoulder blades and possibly a lengthening on the sides of your neck. 
  4. 4. Squeeze for about five seconds and let go. Do up to 10 reps.

Chin Tucks 

  1. Keep your nose forward. 
  2. Place two fingers on the top of your upper lip area.
  3. Use your fingers to guide your head backward and retract your chin backward. Your fingers are guiding – not pushing. 
  4. Don’t retract all the way back – just to about 50 percent of where you can go. 
  5. Hold for about five seconds and repeat up to 10 times.  

Things to Watch Out For

With any of these exercises or stretches, you should not be experiencing any pain. They should feel good – like you’re stretching and strengthening. If you’re having discomfort or pain, sharp pain or if it feels like it makes your symptoms worse, then you need to stop. 

If these exercises are causing you pain, it might mean that there’s something more inflammatory going on that needs to be properly addressed by a physical therapist. 

Telehealth Physical Therapy During COVID-19

During the COVID-19 stay-at-home period, we’re offering Telehealth visits. This is a great way to get PT support for your head and neck pain from too much computer time.

During these appointments, we’ll take you through an evaluation, talk to you about what’s going on, teach you self-release techniques, show you exercises to work on and talk to you about what you need to do to get out of pain. For more on this, click here to fill out a contact form and request a Telehealth visit. 

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