Did you know that injuries to the spine, including the lower back, mid back and neck account for about 50% of all consultations with the physio?  Neck pain is one of the most debilitating conditions that we encounter and can come with all sorts of associated problems like referred pain into the shoulder, or arm or pins and needles into the hands or even headaches.

You may feel that trades people or those involved in heavy manual work would be most likely to experience neck pain but in our experience it’s desk workers with sedentary occupations that are most likely to suffer.  Generally bouts of neck pain coincide with particularly busy periods in work when people are sitting at the desk for longer than usual.  Regular breaks from your desk and aerobic exercise after work are crucial to avoiding neck pain.

Assessment of your neck pain by a chartered physiotherapist is advised if the pain persists beyond two weeks, or if it’s associated with pain, numbness or pins and needles in the hand or arms.  Various techniques such as joint mobilisations, deep tissue massage and advice on stretching will be used by your physiotherapist in the treatment of your neck pain.  Persistent re-occurrences of neck pain in office workers may indicate that an ergonomic assessment of your workspace be required.

Here are a few simple neck stretches that can be performed at the desk and can help you avoid neck pain in the first instance.