Facebook29Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Penrose Physical TherapyPain in the neck is often caused from overused muscles in the neck/upper shoulder region. 1. Avoid forward head posture. You can relieve tension in the neck by keeping your neck in neutral and avoid sticking your head out in front of your shoulders. Otherwise called “forward head posture.” Imagine your head is a bowling ball and sticking it out forward causes all those muscles to work too hard to keep the bowling ball from falling off. To correct forward head posture think about having a string attached to the top of your head lifting you to the ceiling. Lift your sternum upwards. Dr. Jennifer Penrose demonstrates the starting position for the chin tuck.Complete your chin tuck to align your head correctly over your neck. Practice seated chin tucks as pictured to intermittently correct your posture. You simply bring your chin and head straight back without tipping your head; keep your eyes/head level. 2. Avoid shrugging your shoulders towards your ears. If you work at a desk use the arm rests. Not only are the arm rests intended for ‘resting your arms” but the arm rests allow you to quit holding the tension across your upper shoulders and neck. The arm rests decrease the amount of work required of your upper trapezius muscle that often causes the aching pain in the neck. Practice the upper trapezius stretch during the day pictured here.3. Practice the 20/20/20 rule. Look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes. Focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Focusing on objects far away will decrease eye strain and decrease the workload from muscles in your neck at the base of your head. 4. Avoid working or reading with your head and neck forward bent in a downward direction more than 20 degrees for sustained periods. This means avoid reading in bed and be careful with laptops and other hand held devices. Again practice the chin tuck exercise. Also perform the doorway pectoral stretch to counteract any slouching and forward posture you had during the day.Practicing the doorway pectoral stretch is an excellent way to combat the slouching that occurs when you spend much of you day at a computer.5. Test your posture by standing with your back against the wall and see if you can touch the back of your head to the wall without tipping your chin up. Sometimes pain in the shoulder can be referred from internal organs like the lung, liver, gall bladder. Read more here about referred shoulder pain.