This post is sponsored by F.I.T. Muscle and Joint Clinic, with eight locations across the metro.
For most of my adult life, I’ve experienced headaches caused by tension and tightness in my neck, shoulders and upper back. I’ve tried a few treatments such as Excedrin Tension Headache to manage the pain and massage to relax the muscles. After every massage, my therapist would say “wow, you’re really tight and could use another several hours of work.” Massage would provide some relief, but the neck pain would always return.
I realized I needed to do something more and made an appointment at F.I.T. Muscle and Joint Clinic. I have used them previously when my son broke his foot (they have a pediatric physical therapist!) and needed to rehab after the boot came off. They were excellent with him, so I thought I’d give it a try for myself.
The physical therapist evaluated my range of motion, muscle strength and tightness. She explained that I had Tech Neck — a common problem in our digital screen world. She worked with me in the office on several techniques and gave me stretches and tips for home. So many of us work on computers all day or stare at our phones for way too long causing muscle tightness and pain. I thought sharing these at home tips and the techniques she used might help someone else suffering from Tech Neck, too!
At Home Treatment for Tech Neck
- If working at a desk/computer, try to get out of your chair and move every hour if possible.
- Think about your remote or office set up (avoid working on the couch or bed). Choose a supportive chair, proper screen height, and proper desk height
- Check in on posture: as gravity takes over throughout the day, we become more forward. Think about getting tall through the top of your head and lengthening your spine.
- If you’re on your phone a lot throughout the day (who isn’t?), try to bring your phone up to eye height versus looking down.
- Try doing some mobility work or stretching after a long day. A chin tuck can relieve tension and strengthen the deep neck flexors in your cervical spine: Sit with good posture, bring your chin and head straight back as if you were trying to make a double chin, hold for three seconds, return to a neutral position and repeat 10 times.
- Use a lacrosse ball to press on trigger points to release them.
The therapists at F.I.T. Muscle and Joint Clinic used a variety of techniques to alleviate the knots and trigger points. These techniques were all new to me and worked amazingly well.
She placed several tiny needles deep into my trigger points on my traps as those were the tight areas that needed extra help. My muscles would twitch (like a small spasm), but it didn’t hurt at all. It helped to reduce tension in the muscle and alleviate those large knots that massage couldn’t fix.
Active Release Technique (ART)
This is a soft tissue technique where the PT pinned the muscle at my trigger points on my shoulder blades while I stretched my arms. She also did this on my neck and it was that hurt so good pain where you feel the tension melting away. The combination of the movement as well as the pressure applied helps increase blood flow, decrease trigger points, and improve muscle mobility.
Tech Neck Relief Tips
F.I.T. Muscle and Joint Clinic has eight locations around the metro. They combine chiropractic care and physical therapy, resulting in a truly unique and effective experience for their Kansas City patients. They aim to return patients to their active, pain-free lifestyles in the shortest timeframe possible, better than before.