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A writer’s curse.

I love writing! It’s my escape almost as much as reading. The problem is that I sit at a computer every spare moment I get. Now, we all know we need good posture, that we need to have the screen at eye level, feet flat on the floor, and all of that. Ha! How many of us actually do that?

Knowledge isn’t always key. Because as with many things in life, we know what we should do but for whatever reason, we don’t, or can’t, always do it.

I can give you my reason, or excuses, depending on how you see things, for example, I write when I can in break times at work, so I write on my laptop, which means I am looking down. I sit on whatever is available, sometimes that’s a bench seat or a fixed height chair that isn’t ergonomic. I do most social media posting on my phone, even writing at times, so yeah, I’m sure we all see people slumped over their phones on a daily basis. Even writing on a desktop with a right height screen results in neck pain, or ‘tech neck’ as it’s called, at times. 

Like most writers, this kind of problem is almost constant but at times can result in a trapped nerve in the cervical spine. I’ve been suffering from numb fingers, muscle spasms, and pain for about four months now. 

So what can we do about it?

Besides the obvious of being aware of our position and correcting it when possible, I’ve found regular movement and specific exercises can help a bit, along with heat packs to help relax muscle spasms.

Exercises I use:

1. Ear to shoulder and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

2. Turn head to look at 45 degrees then pull the head forward at that angle. Hold 5-10 secs. Repeat on the other side.

3. (this one’s a killer with a trapped nerve but very necessary) Gently tilt the head back to look up at the ceiling. Hold for up to 10 secs. Repeat as tolerated.

4. Straighten your arms out in front of yourself and lock your fingers together, drop your chin to your chest and push your hands forward to stretch your back/should muscles. Hold 5-10 secs and repeat as necessary.

Do these exercises as often as you need to, they may help stretch and relax your neck muscles. I’m not a physio so these are just exercises that have helped me. If you suffer from ‘tech neck’ then maybe they can help you too.

Happy stretching!

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