4 ways to help prevent a stiff neck if you use devices a lot


A stiff neck is a common consequence of sitting too long in one position, especially while working or studying. — 123rf.com

It can be a draught, prolonged sitting or scrolling constantly on your mobile phone.

Before you know it, you've got a stiff, painful neck.

Dr David-Christopher Kubosch, an orthopaedist who specialises in casualty and spinal surgery at Gelenk Klinik orthopaedic hospital in Gundelfingen, Germany, has four tips on preventing muscle tension in your neck:

Go swimming

Doing lengths in a pool strengthens the muscles in the chest and shoulders.

This can guard against neck tension, "provided you don't constantly hold your head above water," Dr Kubosch says.

This is why the backstroke is better for your neck.

Or dip your head under water during the glide phase of the breaststroke, as advised by the Campaign for Healthier Backs (AGR), a German association dedicated to the promotion of research and public information on back-pain prevention.

But don't stress yourself; you needn't follow the advice on every stroke.

'Pick apples'

You don't need an apple orchard for this.

All you have to do is to alternately raise your arms as far over your head as you can, as if you were picking apples.

This stretches your spine and relaxes the muscles in your neck and back.

Twenty to 30 seconds suffice, Dr Kubosch says.

Do shoulder circles

You can do this exercise either standing or sitting on a stool.

With your arms hanging loosely at your sides, carefully roll your shoulders in a circular motion, forward and backward by turns.

"Start with very small circles," advises Dr Kubosch.

During the exercise, you can gently move your head from side to side.

Shoulder circles improve blood circulation in the neck and shoulders, which can reduce muscle tension there.

Watch your posture

Chest out, shoulders back!

This, Dr Kubosch says, is a neck-friendly posture.

People who spend a lot of time on their mobile phone should make sure to keep their head upright, even if it means having to hold the device somewhat higher. – dpa

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Neck pain


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