HOW TO GET RID OF NECK AND UPPER BACK PAIN
Updated: Dec 11, 2019
By Mark Kelly
The biggest cause of pain in the upper back, neck and shoulders is by far, bad posture.
The lifestyles we have today have changed dramatically over the years. Most of what we are doing now is sitting down behind a desk or driving. While we attempt to have our workspace set up ergonomically, if we are in a rush or working to a deadline, ergonomics and our posture usually take the back seat.
Looking down at our mobile devices all the time is also contributing to neck issues which the medical profession has lovingly named “tech-neck”.
Most of the time we don’t even notice the bad posture until the muscles effected start feeling pain. The bad news is, by the time we start feeling pain, it’s already too late and there is a lot of work required to get everything back to normal.
So what can you do today to combat bad posture and keep your body balanced? The obvious things are to monitor your posture, by looking in the mirror for example, and maintaining your workspaces ergonomics.
Exercises that strengthen your upper back and stretches that loosen the upper chest are essential to prevent our shoulders being pulled forward, causing the upper body to slouch forward. Our therapists here at Mels Massage will be able to show you these at your next visit.
Posture correctors are also an option, they are basically wearable straps that are designed to pull your shoulders back into a better postural position. They aren’t always comfortable and sometimes are too bulky to wear under your clothing.
The least obstructive alternative is to use kinesiology tape (K-tape or Rock-Tape).
If you’ve watched your favourite sport on TV chances are you have seen one or more of the players with brightly coloured tape somewhere on their body (in that instance the taping is not being used for postural reasons but that is the tape we are referring to).
Kinesiology tape is “stretchy” tape that has numerous applications. The postural application of rock tape is similar to the posture corrector in that it “pulls the shoulders back” but without physically being attached to the shoulders.
Basically when it comes to the postural use of the tape, we get you to hold your body in the ideal position then apply the tape to your upper back with no stretch in the tape.
The tape can be applied on several different ways but the underlining idea is that once the tape is applied and you relax back into your bad postural position the tape will begin to pull on your skin. This pulling sensation is almost like a subconscious reminder to your body to return to the better postural position.
Some of the biggest benefits of using kinesiology tape for posture correction are:
#1 You are training your body to auto correct bad posture instead of relying on a corrector that is simply pulling your shoulders back.
#2 The tape is hidden underneath clothing, you have it on and the only thing people will notice is how great your posture is.
#3 The tape is water resistant, if you take care not to accidentally rub the tape off after a bath/shower it can be worn for several days. ( the longest my clients have kept the tape on is 2weeks and the only reason they removed it was because they had another massage treatment with me and would have fresh tape applied at the end of the session)
#4 The tape does not restrict movement in anyway, you can still go to the gym, sleep with it on etcetera it will not restrict your usual routine in anyway.
Speak to one of our friendly Mels Massage team members at your next appointment for more details.