Prevent Head and Neck Pain from Extra Screen Time


Many of us are still working from home and spending the majority of our day in front of screens. With all this extra computer time, many of our patients here at Rebalance Physical Therapy have been developing more head and neck pain, stiffness, or just overall posture starting to slump. 

To counterbalance all this screen time, we’re sharing some stretches you can do to help balance out your muscles and help provide some relief from head and neck pain.

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. 1. Keep your nose forward. 
  2. 2. Place two fingers on the top of your upper lip area.
  3. 3. Use your fingers to guide your head backward and retract your chin backward. Your fingers are guiding – not pushing. 
  4. 4. Don’t retract all the way back – just to about 50 percent of where you can go. 
  5. 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 your muscles. If you experience discomfort or pain, sharp pain, or if these exercises make your symptoms worse, then you should stop immediately. 

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

At Rebalance Physical Therapy, our clinicians have many years of experience treating orthopedic and spine conditions. We’ll take you through an evaluation, talk to you about what’s going on, perform some manual therapy techniques to release restrictions, and show you exercises to work on to help manage your pain. Our therapists will consider your unique needs to create a treatment plan that is customized to fit your lifestyle and goals. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact us today!

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