Winter is truly upon us and with it comes the temptation to cuddle up in a warm dressing gown and dive right in to our favourite TV show. In the age of Netflix, Stan and all other streaming services there has been no better time to binge-out on our favourite drama for hours on end. However, sitting in one position for such a long time can be detrimental to your health!
When we are slouched for excessive periods, holding our heads up takes quite the toll on our bodies. This often results in neck and shoulder pain, tightness and stiffness; our head does weigh around 5kg after all! We are specially built to support our heads in the most energy efficient way, maintaining a fine balancing act between your neck bones and their supporting ligaments, discs and muscles. Short term we can hold poor posture, however when held for excessive periods that fine balance is disturbed and the nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments, and discs of your neck may become strained and irritated.
Ways which may help to combat this:
Make sure you get up and move around during advertisement breaks or between episodes, you could have a toilet break or make yourself a cup of tea.
Maintain good posture and avoid slouching; try to regularly change positions.
Neck stretches: Gently bring your ear to your shoulder, you will feel a stretch on the opposite side of your neck. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat on both sides.
Shoulder rolls: sitting upright, with arms by your side roll your shoulders forward and backward.
The best prevention, however, is maintaining an active lifestyle overall; try to get at least 20 minutes of exercise in daily.
As neck pain can be an indicator of various illnesses, your Osteopath will take you through a thorough case history to assess if there are underlying issues. Questions such as general health, past medical history, weight loss, bladder and bowel control, quality of appetite and sleep and medication usage will be asked. Your Osteopath at Blackburn Osteopathy will tailor treatment to your individual needs, which may involve hands-on techniques such as massage, manipulation, exercise prescription and more to be utilised in your consultation.